Analysis of Hobhouse’s argument on the ‘Heart of Liberalism’

You will write a 1,500-word analysis of The Heart of Liberalism, chapter six of Hobhouse’s Liberalism. In addition to this source text you may also refer to the readings in the Further Reading and Additional Reading for each week’s topic. You must use the Harvard system of in-text citation and include a bibliography. Footnotes are included in the word count; the bibliography is excluded. You must refer to Appendix E, ‘Style-guide’, of the Undergraduate Handbook for details about how to properly format your work. Summary: The analysis will address the following questions. The more of them you deal with the better your essay will be. What are the most important of ideas Hobhouse presents? What are his arguments? What are the connections between them? What is his real purpose? And how does it structure the argument in the chapter? What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of these arguments? Your analysis is to be based on a close reading of ‘The Heart of Liberalism’. It should include an account of the main ideas and arguments made in the chapter. You can show the positions which Hobhouse takes on particular themes, and how he supports them. You should illustrate the themes using quotations. The analysis should also include accounts of how the different ideas or arguments are connected to one another. You can look at how ideas depend on each other to make sense. You can also look at how the connections between important ideas give the chapter its structure. What is the most important thing Hobhouse is trying to get across? That is, what is his main purpose? How does he use different ideas to achieve his purpose? That is, how and why does he organise his ideas and arguments By looking at connections, at structure, your analysis is going beyond only a descriptive account of the text. You can develop a more analytical account by weighing the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments he makes and of his strategies for getting his message across. A weak analysis remains largle descriptive, informing us that Hobhouse says such and such, while adding little to what we could get by reading the texts ourselves. A stronger review will explore the way in which Hobhouse makes his case, making an argument about the structure of Hobhouse’s overall approach. At its best it would offer an assessment of Hobhouse’s strategy. Note that making an argument supported by reasoning and evidence is different to simply stating your own preference for a particular argument without an explanation. Some helpful questions to ask while you are reading texts for your analysis could be: What issues is Hobhouse addressing in the different parts of this text? What are his views on those issues? What are the themes, or ideas, arguments and conclusions? What is your overall evaluation of the purpose and structure of the text? books; Mill, John Stuart. Considerations on Representative Government (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Chapter 3 L. T. Hobhouse Liberalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1911) Gutenberg e-book, Chapter 6, The Heart of Liberalism, pp. 33-39.

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