Walter Berns, Political Scientist and Philosopher, Dies at 95

Emily Langer, Washington Post, January 14, 2015.


Part historian, part political scientist and part philosopher, he sprinkled his writings with references to the Bible, Shakespeare, Camus and Lincoln. Much of his work, the legal scholar Jeremy A. Rabkin wrote in an overview of Dr. Berns’s career, “reflects the classical view that democracy depends on the character of the citizens, so their opinions and beliefs, their personal habits and degree of self-discipline — in a word, their virtues — will matter to the prospects of democratic government.”

Dr. Berns argued against unbounded individual rights and for restrictions on pornography, which he believed eroded self-restraint.

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