The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Prof. Lorraine Smith Pangle Publishes an Analysis of the Political Thought of that "most American of americans," Benjamin Franklin

Mon, September 10, 2007

Franklin is best known to Americans for his inventions, his Autobiography , and Poor Richard's Almanac, as well as for his political role as member of the Constitutional convention in Philadelphia and ambassador to France. Pangle devotes her book to an examination of Franklin's as a political thinker. She addresses his thoughts on citizenship, federalism, constitutional government, the role of civil associations, and religious freedom. She concludes that Franklin had an unrivaled understanding of the individual human soul. At the heart of his political vision is a view of democratic citizenship, a rich understanding of the qualities of the heart and mind necessary to support liberty and sustain happiness.

This is Pangle's third book. Previously, she wrote Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship (Cambridge, 2003) and The Learning of Liberty: The Educational Ideas of the American Founders (co-authored with Thomas L. Pangle, Kansas, 1993). Pangle received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, a B.Ed. from the University of Toronto, and a B.A. from Yale. She may be the only member of the Department with experience as a public school teacher before embarking on her university career. She is interested in ancient, early modern, and American political philosophy, with special attention to ethics, the philosophy of education, and problems of justice and moral responsibility. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Earhart Foundation.

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