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Burke, Edmund

  1. Michael S. Kochin

Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee501

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics

How to Cite

Kochin, M. S. 2013. Burke, Edmund. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2013


Edmund Burke (1730–97), Irish-born and educated British politician, publicist, and man of letters, was a Whig reformer, the great ideological opponent of the French Revolution, and the spiritual father of Anglo-American conservatism. Four aspects of Burke's career are crucial for the study of ethics: his defense of party and party loyalty, his defense of the elected representative as a trustee of his constituents' interests rather than a delegate instructed by their opinions, his war on every incarnation of arbitrary power (even in the guise of the enlightened despotism of a monarch or newly enfranchised People), and finally the pan-European crusade he preached against the French Revolution and the desire to rationalize politics.


  • eighteenth century;
  • politics;
  • colonialism;
  • conservatism;
  • power