The Home of American Intellectual Conservatism — First Principles

December 16, 2017

REFERENCE DESK
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Burkean Conservatism
Peter J. Stanlis - 07/25/11

Burke believed that although justice must always be observed, the determination of what is just in each particular instance, under all the different conditions and institutions of mankind, must vary. Prudence is the principle by which moral discretion informs statesmen when they should abate their demands for justice in favor of moderation in resolving social problems. Burke’s ability to combine natural law and constitutional law with practical prudence make his political philosophy thoroughly consistent but almost wholly unsystematic.

Further Reading
  • Canavan, Francis. The Political Reason of Edmund Burke. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1960.
  • Cone, Carl B. Burke and the Nature of Politics: The Age of the American Revolution. Lexington, Ky.: University of Kentucky Press, 1957.
  • ———. Burke and the Nature of Politics: The Age of the French Revolution. Lexington, Ky.: University of Kentucky Press, 1964.
  • Parkin, Charles. The Moral Basis of Burke’s Political Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1956.
  • Stanlis, Peter J. Edmund Burke and the Natural Law. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 1958.
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