Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

Document Type



Walter Lippmann’s intellectual journey represents the journey of American liberalism in the 20th century: an attempted return from infatuation with the progressive ideals of inevitable historical development and scientific progress to the stability of human rights and freedom. America’s path to defining its brand of liberalism finds expression in the philosophical works of Lippmann, who was at the center of this struggle. Lippmann was a defender of the liberal democratic state whose value as a thinker derives from his attempt to understand the problem of political freedom (are people competent to self-rule in a mass democracy?) throughout this critical time period. In this struggle Lippmann remains a nuanced, though fierce exponent of political freedom as he sought to verify the foundations of political legitimacy and authority on which true political freedom depends. He began his quest as a progressive, averring scientific realism against entrenched dogmas and traditions, but, by remaining consistent on this question of political freedom (insofar as he sought to preserve and expand it), was led to conclude his quest arguing for a sustainable liberalism characterized by an attentiveness to the human person.



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Committee Chair

Stoner, James R Jr