Philosophy 94 (3):383-407 (2019)

David McPherson
Creighton University
This essay articulates a kind of conservatism that it argues is the most fundamental and important kind of conservatism, viz. existential conservatism, which involves an affirmative and appreciative stance towards the given world. While this form of conservatism can be connected to political conservatism, as seen with Roger Scruton, it need not be, as seen with G. A. Cohen. It is argued that existential conservatism should be embraced whether or not one embraces political conservatism, though it is also shown that existential conservatism imposes constraints on our political thinking. In particular, it is argued that Cohen's ‘luck egalitarianism’ stands at odds with his existential conservatism and that one should be a sufficientarian rather than an egalitarian with regard to economic justice.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/s0031819119000214
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Equality as a Moral Ideal.Harry Frankfurt - 1987 - Ethics 98 (1):21-43.
Finding Oneself in the Other.Gerald Allan Cohen (ed.) - 2012 - Princeton University Press.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Conservative Critiques.Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke - 2022 - In Ben Ferguson & Matt Zwolinski (eds.), Routledge Companion to Libertarianism. Routledge. pp. 579-592.
Is Roger Scruton a Christian Platonist?James Bryson - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 81 (2):136-154.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Conservatism in the 1990s, Our Common Purpose.John Roy Major, Carlton Club & Conservative Political Centre Britain) - 1993 - Carlton Club Political Committee in Association with the Conservative Political Centre.
What Is Conservatism?John Kekes - 1997 - Philosophy 72 (281):351 - 374.
Epistemic conservatism.Rodrigo Laera - 2013 - Filosofia Unisinos 14 (3):176-188.
The Virtues of Epistemic Conservatism.Kevin McCain - 2008 - Synthese 164 (2):185-200.
Disgust Sensitivity, Political Conservatism, and Voting.Yoel Inbar, David Pizarro, Ravi Iyer & Jonathan Haidt - 2012 - Social Psychological and Personality Science 3 (5):537-544.
Is There an 'I' in Epistemology?Ted Poston - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (4):517-541.
Is There an ‘I’ in Epistemology?Ted Poston - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (4):517-541.
Coherence Without Conservation.Georgi Gardiner - 2016 - Syndicate Philosophy 1:1-8.


Added to PP index

Total views
357 ( #28,141 of 2,498,789 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
89 ( #8,216 of 2,498,789 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes