Philosophy Colloquium: Eric Schliesser

The Origin of the Liberal Art of Government

The fall 2022 Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Eric Schliesser (Amsterdam).


In this paper, I begin to develop an account of the liberal art of government, primarily focusing on Locke, Toland, and Mill. But Bentham, Milton Friedman, and Rawls will make some cameo appearances. The first half of my talk is primarily exegetical with the aim of characterizing and illustrating the conception of the art in the context of the development of liberalism.

In the latter half of the presentation, I explore some meta-philosophical issues pertaining to the division of labor within the academy and the disappearance (as a kind of Kuhn loss) of the very idea of an art of government as an integral part of (political) philosophy. For, the awkward fact is that the existence that there is such a thing as an 'art of government' -- let alone a liberal one -- was made famous by Foucault in a series of 1979 lectures published as Birth of Biopolitics, a book almost entirely ignored by analytic political philosophers (and political theorists).


3 p.m. Nov. 11, 2022


Social Sciences 224

Event Contacts

Jonathan Weinberg