Liberalism without Perfection by Jonathan QuongLiberalism without Perfection by Jonathan Quong

Liberalism without Perfection

byJonathan Quong

Hardcover | February 2, 2011

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A growing number of political philosophers favour a view called liberal perfectionism. According to this view, liberal political morality is characterised by a commitment to helping individuals lead autonomous lives and making other valuable choices. In this book Jonathan Quong rejects thiswidely held view and offers an alternative account of liberal political morality. Quong argues that the liberal state should not be engaged in determining what constitutes a valuable or worthwhile life nor trying to make sure that individuals live up to this ideal. Instead, it should remain neutralon the issue of the good life, and restrict itself to establishing the fair terms within which individuals can pursue their own beliefs about what gives value to their lives. The book thus defends a position known as political liberalism. The first part of the book subjects the liberal perfectionist position to critical scrutiny, advancing three major objections that raise serious doubts about the liberal perfectionist position with regard to autonomy, paternalism, and political legitimacy. The latter chapters then present and defenda distinctive version of political liberalism. In particular, Quong clarifies and develops political liberalism's central thesis: that political principles, in order to be legitimate, must be publicly justifiable to reasonable people. Drawing on the work of John Rawls, Quong offers his owninterpretation of this idea, and rebuts some of the main objections that have been pressed against it. In doing so, the book offers novel arguments regarding the nature of an overlapping consensus, the structure of political justification, the idea of public reason, and the status of unreasonablepersons.
Jonathan Quong has held visiting fellowships at the Murphy Institute's Center for Ethics and Public Affairs at Tulane University, and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He is a Senior Lecturer in Political Philosophy in the Manchester Centre for Political Theory at the University of Manchester. He has publ...
Title:Liberalism without PerfectionFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pagesPublished:February 2, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199594872

ISBN - 13:9780199594870

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsIntroduction1. What Kind of Liberalism?2. The Argument from Autonomy3. Paternalism and Perfectionism4. Justification and Legitimacy5. A Question Internal to Liberal Theory6. The Role of an Overlapping Consensus7. Disagreement and Asymmetry8. Truth and Scepticism9. The Scope and Structure of Public Reason10. Unreasonable CitizensConclusionBibliography