The Conservative Intellectual Tradition in America

Session 1: Introduction to the Conservative Intellectual Tradition

Conservative Intellectual Tradition in America banner

Guest Lecturer: Honorable Alfred S. Regnery, Esq.View a short interview regarding this theme

Themes: Introduction to the basic tenets of conservatism; general definitions; ideology and anti-ideology; the nature of politics and its relationship to human nature, sociability, and the conditions for human happiness; the place of tradition; the Anglo-American tradition of private property and limited political authority; transcendent reference points and the requisite conditions of ordered liberty.


Recorded: 1/18/2012

Required Reading:

Aristotle, Politics, Bk. 1, Ch. 1-3, 7-11; Bk. 3, Ch. 9-13; Bk. 4, Ch. 3-11; Bk. 7, Ch. 1-3.

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Bk. 2

Kirk, Russell. “What Is Conservatism?,” The Essential Russell Kirk (p. 4-22)

Kirk, Russell. “Aristotle and Political Forms,” The Roots of American Order (p. 86-95)

Weaver, Richard. “Introduction,” Ideas Have Consequences (p. 1-17)

Recommended Reading:

The Petition of Right of 1628

Kirk, Russell. “The Idea of Conservatism,” The Conservative Mind

Molnar, Thomas. “Tradition and Social Change,” Arguing Conservatism (p. 18-23)

Nichols, Mary. “Citizens, Statesmen, and Modern Political Theory,” Citizens and Statesmen: A Study of Aristotle’s Politics (p. 169-176)

Stoner, James. “The Timeliness and Timelessness of Magna Charta”

Course Overview

Section One: Introduction
Section Two: The Foundations of American Conservatism
Section Three: The 20th Century and the Recovery of a Conservative Tradition
Section Four: Conservative Triumph, Consensus, and Crisis