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Foundations of Conservatism Seminar

We’re all aware of conservatism as a political movement. But what is (and what has been) conservatism as a political and social philosophy? In what ways is contemporary conservatism similar to and different from its British and American foundations? This seminar will explore some of the historical and philosophical foundations of conservatism, with an emphasis on the history of ideas, through Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot. 

The seminar consists of seven lectures, with each meeting covering the first seven chapters of Kirk's book. We'll explore in the conservative tradition: the relationship between the transcendent order and politics, the variety and individuality of human existence, the relationship between orders/classes and political rule, the relationship between freedom and property, the role of prejudice and prescription, the value of change, and other topics. 

By the end of this seminar (running from May to October 2020), you should be able to have a general understanding of the development of conservative thought from the mid-18th century to the mid-20th century, as well as an understanding of the relationship between conservatism and some of the revolutions occurring during that period (the French Revolution, the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution). 

For more information, visit chrisdamian.net/seminars

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Foundations of Conservatism Seminar

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