Reform and Revolution

Neil McArthur

in The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century

Published in print October 2013 | ISBN: 9780199549023
Published online December 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Reform and Revolution

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In the century following the Glorious Revolution, there was much philosophical debate about the principles according to which society could be reformed, or its ruling structure changed entirely. This chapter examines the views on this question held by the major intellectual figures of the period, and shows how the debate was affected by the American and French Revolutions. It describes the formation of a broad consensus on the desirability of incremental reform in the name of the public good, followed, in the wake of the French Revolution, by the division of political thought into radical and conservative schools.

Keywords: Glorious Revolution; Locke; Berkeley; Mandeville; Hutcheson; Hume; Smith; Paine; Priestley; Burke

Article.  10307 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy

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