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History of Liberalism, Post 2: Preview

Given all the provisos I make in this post about the impossibility and artificiality of tracing the roots of liberalism, I still want to draw some attention to some people and movements that should be part of any such discussion. My biases are obvious, and my knowledge partial, but these are the historical phenomena I will intermittently address over the next few weeks:

  • Legal Realism
  • Critical Legal traditions
  • Institutional Economics
  • Progressive American historians
  • Scottish Enlightenment
Undoubtedly my weakest area is the Scottish Enlightenment, but I just read James Buchan's Crowded with Genius (reviewed here, here, and in a bone to the Conservatives, here), and much of it is fresh on my mind. My first post, which will have to wait until tomorrow, will focus on legal realism, particularly the radical traditions of Felix Cohen and Robert Hale. I won't make much of an effort to justify the inclusion of any one position in the liberal pantheon, I just want to bring some of these ideas and people up for discussion.


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