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Edmund Burke, author of Reflections on the Revolution in France, is known to a wide public as a classic political thinker: it is less well understood that his intellectual achievement depended upon his understanding of philosophy and use of it in the practical writings and speeches by which he is chiefly known. The present essay explores the character and significance of the use of philosophy in his political thought. That thought is of the very first importance for intellectual history and for the conduct of politics. This essay is the first attempt to examine its philosophical character and to connect the latter with Burke's political activity. In doing so it shows the importance of the philosophical elements in Burke's thought and that these contribute important ways to his political thought.
CitationHarris, Ian, "Edmund Burke", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2020 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL = .
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