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  1. Rex Martin and,
  2. David A. Reidy

Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee236

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics

How to Cite

Martin and, R. and Reidy, D. A. 2013. Liberalism. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2013


We begin this essay by briefly recounting the views of main figures in the liberal tradition: John Locke, Adam Smith, the Philosophical Radicals, John Stuart Mill (see Locke, John; Smith, Adam; Mill, John Stuart). Other accounts of the liberal tradition are possible and different names could be included, e.g., Rousseau, Kant, von Humboldt, and Hegel (see Kant, Immanuel; Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich; Rousseau, Jean-Jacques). But the one we have suggested is a typical and widely accepted genealogy. We conclude this thumbnail genealogy by providing a summary of liberal values that can be harvested from attending to this particular tradition.


  • legal and political liberalism