Chapter

Social policy and idealist versus non-idealist thought: the fundamental schism

John Offer

in An intellectual history of British social policy

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9781861345318
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301455 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861345318.003.0006
Social policy and idealist versus non-idealist thought: the fundamental schism

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This chapter describes the pivotal substantive differences between idealist and non-idealist social thought. Also examined are the divergent images held in the idealist and non-idealist thought of ordinary people as agents in everyday life and of freedom, tutelary direction and moral progress. The exact relationship of influence between idealists and New Liberalism has been variously described in scholarly research. The key point is that both academic idealism and modified theories of social evolution, whether mixed together or not, provided modes of idealist social thought, defined broadly, that New Liberalism absorbed into its intellectual framework.

Keywords: social policy; idealist social thought; non-idealist social thought; New Liberalism; academic idealism; social evolution

Chapter.  13491 words. 

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