Burke, Edmund

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Ethics
EditorsHugh LaFollette
ISBN (Electronic)9781444367072
StatePublished - 2013


  • colonialism
  • conservatism
  • eighteenth century
  • politics
  • power


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