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Cities of Man on a Hill

Patrick J. Deneen
American Political Thought
Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring 2012), pp. 29-52
Published by: The University of Chicago Press in association with the Notre Dame Program in Constitutional Studies and the The Jack Miller Center
DOI: 10.1086/664825
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/664825
Page Count: 24
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Cities of Man on a Hill
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Abstract

While a long-standing belief in American Exceptionalism can hardly be disputed, further probing of the idea—both conceptually and historically—suggests that “American exceptionalism” can be distinguished as at least three different types. Further, even some main forms of criticism of American exceptionalism can be seen to derive from a similar set of commitments to the transformational power of politics. The more fundamental similarity between both the various types of exceptionalism as well as the critical response by a version of contemporary “cosmopolitanism” comes particularly into view from the vantage of Augustine’s critique of the idea of any national exceptionalism.

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