Judith Nisse Shklar September 24, — September 17, was an esteemed philosopher and political theorist who studied the history of political thought, notably that of the Enlightenment period, and worked at Harvard University as the John Cowles Professor of Government. She began her studies at McGill University at the age of 16, receiving bachelor of art and master of art degrees in and , respectively. She later recalled that the entrance rules to McGill at the time required points for Jews and for everyone else. Her mentor was the famous political theorist Carl Joachim Friedrich , who, she later recalled, only ever offered her one compliment: "Well, this isn't the usual thesis, but then I did not expect it to be. Shklar joined the Harvard faculty in , becoming the first woman to receive tenure in Harvard's Government Department in
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Judith Nisse Shklar September 24, — September 17, was an esteemed philosopher and political theorist who studied the history of political thought, notably that of the Enlightenment period, and worked at Harvard University as the John Cowles Professor of Government. She began her studies at McGill University at the age of 16, receiving bachelor of art and master of art degrees in and , respectively.
She later recalled that the entrance rules to McGill at the time required points for Jews and for everyone else. Her mentor was the famous political theorist Carl Joachim Friedrich , who, she later recalled, only ever offered her one compliment: "Well, this isn't the usual thesis, but then I did not expect it to be.
Shklar joined the Harvard faculty in , becoming the first woman to receive tenure in Harvard's Government Department in During her career, Shklar served in various academic and professional capacities. For example, she was active in the committee that integrated the American Repertory Theater into the Harvard community. A renowned teacher and advisor, many of Shklar's former students and colleagues contributed to a volume of essays, Liberalism without Illusions: Essays on Liberal Theory and the Political Vision of Judith N.
Contributors include her celebrated former students Amy Gutmann , Patrick T. Throughout her life, Judith Shklar was known as "Dita. Shklar's thought centered on two main ideas: cruelty as the worst evil and the "liberalism of fear. Based on these core ideas, Shklar advocated for constitutional democracy ,  which she saw as flawed but still the best form of government possible.
A constitutional democracy, in Shklar's view, protects people from the abuses of the more powerful by restricting government and by dispersing power among a "multiplicity of politically active groups". Shklar believed that "the original and only defensible meaning of liberalism " is that "every adult should be able to make as many effective decisions without fear or favor about as many aspects of his or her life as is compatible with the like freedom of every adult.
Shklar was deeply interested in injustice and political evils, claiming that "philosophy fails to give injustice its due"; that is, most past philosophers have ignored injustice and talked only about justice , likewise ignoring vice and talking only about virtue. Ordinary Vices and The Faces of Injustice articulate Shklar's attempts to fill this gap in philosophical thought, drawing heavily on literature as well as philosophy to argue that injustice and the "sense of injustice" are historically and culturally universal and are critical concepts for modern political and philosophical theory.
She became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in In , she received a MacArthur Fellowship for her work. Also in , she was elected the first female president of the APSA. In the Harvard University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa awarded her its teaching prize, calling her "demanding, rewarding, forthright, fair, and reasonable, a model of intellectual and human qualities rarely combined. Professor Shklar wrote many influential books and articles on political science , including the following:.
Several of her essays, including the "classic"  "The Liberalism of Fear," have been collected in two posthumous volumes edited by Stanley Hoffmann and published by the University of Chicago Press : Redeeming American Political Thought and Political Thought and Political Thinkers Jacob T.
Levy, "Who's Afraid of Judith Sklar? From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Judith Shklar. Riga , Latvia. Cambridge, Massachusetts , U. Presidents of the American Political Science Association. Judson — James Bryce — A. Charles A. Beard — William B. Munro — Jesse S. Reeves — John A. Fairlie — Benjamin F. Willoughby — Isidor Loeb — Walter J. Shepard — Francis W.
Coker — Arthur N. Brooks — Frederic A. Ogg — William Anderson — Robert E. Cushman — Leonard D. White — John Gaus — Walter F. Spencer — Quincy Wright — James K. Pollock — Peter H. Odegard — Luther Gulick — E. Key Jr. Taylor Cole — Carl B. Swisher — Emmette Redford — Charles S. Hyneman — Carl Joachim Friedrich — C. Lane — Heinz Eulau — Robert E. Ward — Avery Leiserson — J.
Judith N. Shklar
The seven deadly sins of Christianity represent the abysses of character, whereas Shklar's "ordinary vices"--cruelty, hypocrisy, snobbery, betrayal, and misanthropy--are merely treacherous shoals, flawing our characters with mean-spiritedness and inhumanity. Shklar draws from a brilliant array of writers--Moliere and Dickens on hypocrisy, Jane Austen on snobbery, Shakespeare and Montesquieu on misanthropy, Hawthorne and Nietzsche on cruelty, Conrad and Faulkner on betrayal--to reveal the nature and effects of the vices. She examines their destructive effects, the ambiguities of the moral problems they pose to the liberal ethos, and their implications for government and citizens: liberalism is a difficult and challenging doctrine that demands a tolerance of contradiction, complexity, and the risks of freedom. Ordinary Vices. Judith N. Putting cruelty first.
Who’s Afraid of Judith Shklar?
Its defense of hypocrisy is subtler and more ambivalent than often thought. Its skepticism regarding accusations of betrayal relies less on direct political analysis than on a moral-psychological analysis of our need to attribute disloyalty to others. Keywords: vices , cruelty , hypocrisy , snobbery , loyalty , betrayal , misanthropy , liberalism of fear , Judith Shklar. Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.