Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism

3.95 avg rating
( 74 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780141009544: Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism

The new book from Larry Siedentop, acclaimed author of Democracy in Europe, Inventing the Individual is a highly original rethinking of how our moral beliefs were formed and their impact on western society today

'Magisterial, timeless, beautifully written ... Siedentop has achieved something quite extraordinary. He has explained us to ourselves' Spectator

This ambitious and stimulating book describes how a moral revolution in the first centuries AD - the discovery of human freedom and its universal potential - led to a social revolution in the west. The invention of a new, equal social role, the individual, gradually displaced the claims of family, tribe and caste as the basis of social organisation. Larry Siedentop asks us to rethink the evolution of the ideas on which modern societies and government are built, and argues that the core of what is now our system of beliefs emerged much earlier than we think. The roots of liberalism - belief in individual liberty, in the fundamental moral equality of individuals, that equality should be the basis of a legal system and that only a representative form of government is fitting for such a society - all these, Siedentop argues, were pioneered by Christian thinkers of the Middle Ages, who drew on the moral revolution carried out by the early church. It was the arguments of canon lawyers, theologians and philosophers from the eleventh to the fourteenth century, rather than the Renaissance, that laid the foundation for liberal democracy.

There are large parts of the world where other beliefs flourish - fundamentalist Islam, which denies the equality of women and is often ambiguous about individual rights and representative institutions; quasi-capitalist China, where a form of utilitarianism enshrines state interests even at the expense of justice and liberty. Such beliefs may foster populist forms of democracy. But they are not liberal. In the face of these challenges, Siedentop urges that understanding the origins of our own liberal ideas is more than ever an important part of knowing who we are.

LARRY SIEDENTOP was appointed to the first post in intellectual history ever established in Britain, at Sussex University in the 1970's. From there he moved to Oxford, becoming Faculty Lecturer in Political Thought and a Fellow of Keble College. His writings include a study of Tocqueville, an edition of Guizot's History of Civilization in Europe, and Democracy in Europe, which has been translated into a dozen languages. Siedentop was made CBE in 2004.

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK

'One of the most stimulating books of political theory to have appeared in many years ... a refreshingly unorthodox account of the roots of modern liberalism in medieval Christian thinking' John Gray, Literary Review

'A brave, brilliant and beautifully written defence of the western tradition' Paul Lay, History Today

'An engrossing book of ideas ... illuminating, beautifully written and rigorously argued' Kenan Malik, Independent

'A most impressive work of philosophical history' Robert Skidelsky

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Product Description:

Released January 2015

Review:

Magisterial, timeless, beautifully written ... Siedentop has achieved something quite extraordinary. He has explained us to ourselves ( Spectator)

One of the most stimulating books of political theory to have appeared in many years ... a refreshingly unorthodox account of the roots of modern liberalism in medieval Christian thinking (John Gray Literary Review)

A brave, brilliant and beautifully written defence of the western tradition (Paul Lay History Today)

Thoroughly interesting and fundamentally convincing ... admirably nuanced ... formidable ... Inventing the Individual is written with effortless lucidity (Jeffrey Collins TLS)

An engrossing book of ideas ... illuminating, beautifully written and rigorously argued (Kenan Malik Independent)

A most impressive work of philosophical history (Robert Skidelsky)

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Siedentop, Larry
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2015)
ISBN 10: 0141009543 ISBN 13: 9780141009544
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The new book from Larry Siedentop, acclaimed author of Democracy in Europe, Inventing the Individual is a highly original rethinking of how our moral beliefs were formed and their impact on western society today. Magisterial, timeless, beautifully written .Siedentop has achieved something quite extraordinary. He has explained us to ourselves . (Spectator). This ambitious and stimulating book describes how a moral revolution in the first centuries AD - the discovery of human freedom and its universal potential - led to a social revolution in the west. The invention of a new, equal social role, the individual, gradually displaced the claims of family, tribe and caste as the basis of social organisation. Larry Siedentop asks us to rethink the evolution of the ideas on which modern societies and government are built, and argues that the core of what is now our system of beliefs emerged much earlier than we think. The roots of liberalism - belief in individual liberty, in the fundamental moral equality of individuals, that equality should be the basis of a legal system and that only a representative form of government is fitting for such a society - all these, Siedentop argues, were pioneered by Christian thinkers of the Middle Ages, who drew on the moral revolution carried out by the early church. It was the arguments of canon lawyers, theologians and philosophers from the eleventh to the fourteenth century, rather than the Renaissance, that laid the foundation for liberal democracy. There are large parts of the world where other beliefs flourish - fundamentalist Islam, which denies the equality of women and is often ambiguous about individual rights and representative institutions; quasi-capitalist China, where a form of utilitarianism enshrines state interests even at the expense of justice and liberty. Such beliefs may foster populist forms of democracy. But they are not liberal. In the face of these challenges, Siedentop urges that understanding the origins of our own liberal ideas is more than ever an important part of knowing who we are. LARRY SIEDENTOP was appointed to the first post in intellectual history ever established in Britain, at Sussex University in the 1970 s. From there he moved to Oxford, becoming Faculty Lecturer in Political Thought and a Fellow of Keble College. His writings include a study of Tocqueville, an edition of Guizot s History of Civilization in Europe, and Democracy in Europe, which has been translated into a dozen languages. Siedentop was made CBE in 2004. Praise for the book: One of the most stimulating books of political theory to have appeared in many years .a refreshingly unorthodox account of the roots of modern liberalism in medieval Christian thinking . (John Gray, Literary Review). A brave, brilliant and beautifully written defence of the western tradition . (Paul Lay, History Today). An engrossing book of ideas .illuminating, beautifully written and rigorously argued . (Kenan Malik, Independent). A most impressive work of philosophical history . (Robert Skidelsky). Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141009544

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.04
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Siedentop, Larry
ISBN 10: 0141009543 ISBN 13: 9780141009544
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller
GreatBookPrices
(Columbia, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 21787979-n

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.65
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.09
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Siedentop, Larry
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2015)
ISBN 10: 0141009543 ISBN 13: 9780141009544
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The new book from Larry Siedentop, acclaimed author of Democracy in Europe, Inventing the Individual is a highly original rethinking of how our moral beliefs were formed and their impact on western society today. Magisterial, timeless, beautifully written .Siedentop has achieved something quite extraordinary. He has explained us to ourselves . (Spectator). This ambitious and stimulating book describes how a moral revolution in the first centuries AD - the discovery of human freedom and its universal potential - led to a social revolution in the west. The invention of a new, equal social role, the individual, gradually displaced the claims of family, tribe and caste as the basis of social organisation. Larry Siedentop asks us to rethink the evolution of the ideas on which modern societies and government are built, and argues that the core of what is now our system of beliefs emerged much earlier than we think. The roots of liberalism - belief in individual liberty, in the fundamental moral equality of individuals, that equality should be the basis of a legal system and that only a representative form of government is fitting for such a society - all these, Siedentop argues, were pioneered by Christian thinkers of the Middle Ages, who drew on the moral revolution carried out by the early church. It was the arguments of canon lawyers, theologians and philosophers from the eleventh to the fourteenth century, rather than the Renaissance, that laid the foundation for liberal democracy. There are large parts of the world where other beliefs flourish - fundamentalist Islam, which denies the equality of women and is often ambiguous about individual rights and representative institutions; quasi-capitalist China, where a form of utilitarianism enshrines state interests even at the expense of justice and liberty. Such beliefs may foster populist forms of democracy. But they are not liberal. In the face of these challenges, Siedentop urges that understanding the origins of our own liberal ideas is more than ever an important part of knowing who we are. LARRY SIEDENTOP was appointed to the first post in intellectual history ever established in Britain, at Sussex University in the 1970 s. From there he moved to Oxford, becoming Faculty Lecturer in Political Thought and a Fellow of Keble College. His writings include a study of Tocqueville, an edition of Guizot s History of Civilization in Europe, and Democracy in Europe, which has been translated into a dozen languages. Siedentop was made CBE in 2004. Praise for the book: One of the most stimulating books of political theory to have appeared in many years .a refreshingly unorthodox account of the roots of modern liberalism in medieval Christian thinking . (John Gray, Literary Review). A brave, brilliant and beautifully written defence of the western tradition . (Paul Lay, History Today). An engrossing book of ideas .illuminating, beautifully written and rigorously argued . (Kenan Malik, Independent). A most impressive work of philosophical history . (Robert Skidelsky). Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141009544

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.75
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Siedentop, Larry
ISBN 10: 0141009543 ISBN 13: 9780141009544
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97801410095440000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.88
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Siedentop, Larry
Published by Penguin (2015)
ISBN 10: 0141009543 ISBN 13: 9780141009544
New Softcover Quantity Available: > 20
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin, 2015. Book Condition: New. Asks us to rethink the evolution of the ideas on which modern societies and government are built, and argues that the core of what is now our system of beliefs emerged much earlier than we think. Num Pages: 448 pages. BIC Classification: HPQ; JPA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 199 x 130 x 26. Weight in Grams: 328. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141009544

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.93
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From Ireland to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Siedentop, Larry
Published by Penguin 2015-01-29|NU-GRD-05210544 (2015)
ISBN 10: 0141009543 ISBN 13: 9780141009544
New Paperback Quantity Available: 5
Seller
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin 2015-01-29|NU-GRD-05210544, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 9780141009544. Bookseller Inventory # NU-GRD-05210544

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.28
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.99
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Siedentop, Larry
ISBN 10: 0141009543 ISBN 13: 9780141009544
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Grand Eagle Retail
(Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2015. Book Condition: New. 130mm x 198mm x 27mm. The new book from Larry Siedentop, acclaimed author of Democracy in Europe, Inventing the Individual is a highly original rethinking of how our moral beliefs were formed and their impact on western s.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 448 pages. 0.328. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141009544

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.56
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Siedentop, Larry
ISBN 10: 0141009543 ISBN 13: 9780141009544
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; The new book from Larry Siedentop, acclaimed author of Democracy in Europe, Inventing the Individual is a highly original rethinking of how our moral beliefs were formed and their impact on western society today. Magisterial, timeless, beautifully written .Siedentop has achieved something quite e. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780141009544_rkm

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.79
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.85
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Siedentop, Larry
Published by Penguin
ISBN 10: 0141009543 ISBN 13: 9780141009544
New Softcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin. Book Condition: New. Asks us to rethink the evolution of the ideas on which modern societies and government are built, and argues that the core of what is now our system of beliefs emerged much earlier than we think. Num Pages: 448 pages. BIC Classification: HPQ; JPA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 199 x 130 x 26. Weight in Grams: 328. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141009544

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.76
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Siedentop, Larry
Published by Penguin (2015)
ISBN 10: 0141009543 ISBN 13: 9780141009544
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Green Books
(Wicklow, Ireland)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New Book. Shipping: Once your order has been confirmed and payment received, your order will then be processed. The book will be located by our staff, packaged and despatched to you as quickly as possible. From time to time, items get mislaid en route. If your item fails to arrive, please contact us first. We will endeavour to trace the item for you and where necessary, replace or refund the item. Please do not leave negative feedback without contacting us first. All orders will be dispatched within two working days. If you have any quesions please contact us. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141009544

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.79
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 4.26
From Ireland to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book