top of page

Is Postliberalism Possible?

An intellectual retreat for Stanford students on the nature, origin, and aims of liberalism with Michael Hanby and D.C. Schindler

Registration is closed
See other events
Is Postliberalism Possible?
Is Postliberalism Possible?

Time & Location

May 27, 2023, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM PDT

Palo Alto, CA

About the Event

An increasing number of political theorists claim that the great experiment of liberalism has failed, and so conversation has begun in many quarters about what an alternative might look like, the possibilities that something might takes its place, and the resources from which to draw to attempt to do so. But proposing something genuinely new requires a sufficient sense of what liberalism in fact is and why it seems to have failed. This series of seminars will explore the nature, origin, and aims of liberalism and attempt to uncover the vision of reality and human nature that it takes for granted, both in its classical form and in its specifically American incarnation. We will then consider some of the basic criticisms that have been made, in order to prepare for a fruitful conversation about what might come next.


Michael Hanby is Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy of Science at the John Paul II Institute in Washington, DC. He is author of Augustine and Modernity (Routledge, 2003), No God, No Science?: Theology, Cosmology, Biology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), and numerous journal and magazine articles. He is currently working on a volume of essays entitled On Being…Human, Catholic, American.

D.C. Schindler is Professor of Metaphysics and Anthropology at The John Paul II Institute in Washington, D.C. He is an editor of the North American edition of Communio: International Catholic Review, a translator of French and German, and the author of many books, including Freedom From Reality: The Diabolical Character of Modern Liberty (Notre Dame, 2018), The Politics of the Real (New Polity, 2021), and God and the City: An Essay in Political Metaphysics (St. Augustine’s Press, forthcoming in June, 2023).


Nathan Pinkoski is the former academic director of the Zephyr Institute. He now teaches at the Hamilton Center for Classical and Civic Education at the University of Florida and is a Senior Fellow at the Edmund Burke Foundation.


Schedule and Readings:

The PDF of the course outline, schedule, locations, readings can be found here.

830-9AM Breakfast

9-10:30AM Session One: What is Political Philosophy, and How Has It Changed?

– Thomas Aquinas, Prologue to Commentary on Aristotle’s Politics

– Francis Slade, “Two Versions of Political Philosophy: Teleology and the Conceptual Genesis of the Modern State,” in Natural Moral Law in Contemporary Society, ed. Holger Zaborowski (Washington, DC: CUA Press, 2010), 235-63.

10:45AM-12:15PM Session Two: What is Liberalism? Part One: Liberalism as a Theory of Human Nature

– John Milbank, “The Gift of Ruling: Secularization and Political Authority,” New Blackfriars 85:996 (2004): 212-238.

12:15-1:30PM Lunch

1:30-3PM Session Three: What is Liberalism? Part Two: Liberalism as Technological Order

– John Dewey, “Some Historical Factors in Philosophical Reconstruction,” Reconstruction in Philosophy (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1920), 28-52.


--John Dewey, “Renascent Liberalism,” Liberalism and Social Action (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2000), 61-93.

330-5PM Session Four: The Question of America

– Gordon S. Wood, “Introduction,” The Radicalism of the American Revolution (New York: Vintage Publishing, 1993), 3-8.

--Daniel J. Boorstin, “The Influence of American on the Mind,” The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), 3-8.

– George Grant, “In Defence of North America,” Technology and Empire: Perspectives on North America (Toronto: House of Anansi, 1969), 15-40.

515-630PM Session Five: Round-Table Discussion: Is Post-Liberalism Possible?

With Matthew Crawford, Matthew Dal Santo, Nathan Pinkoski and Adrian Walker

7PM Dinner



Stanford students and Zephyr undergraduate fellows, past and present


Intellectual Retreat Fee: (includes 3 meals/drinks and seminar materials)

Regular Fee: $100

75%  Student Discount. Use code STUDENT.

Space is limited


  • Is Postliberalism Possible?

    Includes 3 meals/drinks and seminar materials

    Sale ended



Share this event

bottom of page