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Taking reasonable pluralism seriously: an internal critique of political liberalism

Freyenhagen, Fabian (2011) 'Taking reasonable pluralism seriously: an internal critique of political liberalism.' Politics, Philosophy & Economics, 10 (3). pp. 323-342. ISSN 1470-594X

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Abstract

<jats:p> The later Rawls attempts to offer a non-comprehensive, but nonetheless moral justification in political philosophy. Many critics of political liberalism doubt that this is successful, but Rawlsians often complain that such criticisms rely on the unwarranted assumption that one cannot offer a moral justification other than by taking a philosophically comprehensive route. In this article, I internally criticize the justification strategy employed by the later Rawls. I show that he cannot offer us good grounds for the rational hope that citizens will assign political values priority over non-political values in cases of conflict about political matters. I also suggest an alternative approach to justification in political philosophy (that is, a weak realist, Williams-inspired account) that better respects the later Rawls’s concern with non-comprehensiveness and pluralism than either his own view or more comprehensive approaches. Thus, if we take reasonable pluralism seriously, then we should adopt what Shklar aptly called ‘liberalism of fear’. </jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: justification; political liberalism; liberalism of fear; realism; pluralism; John Rawls; Bernard Williams; Jurgen Habermas
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2011 12:56
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2022 15:28
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1693

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