Locke, Rousseau and Dewey: Thoughts on Liberalism
This paper examines the particular forms of liberalism proposed by three important thinkers John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Dewey.
The following paper explores elements of liberalism as seen by Locke, Rousseau and Dewey. They argue that people spend their lives in the future and therefore need a philosophy that keeps its face turned to the sun.
To say that liberalism does not proffer a specific version of “the good life” is analogous to saying that atheism does not offer a specific version of the good life. This is true, but only if one is looking from the outside. To the Christian, atheism may simply be the absence of a cohesive spiritual perspective. But the person who does not believe in God does not define his or her belief as the absence of what the theist cleaves to but rather as the presence of a humanistic philosophy. The Christian believes in Christ; the humanist believes in human potential and responsibility. The philosophies are certainly different, but neither one is incomplete or incoherent.