Liberalism and the constitution

Social Philosophy and Policy 24 (1):234-265 (2007)
If the U.S. Constitution is a liberal Constitution, liberal governments can have a constitutional obligation to secure positive benefits or welfare rights. The original constitutional text describes a government instrumental to the Preamble's abstract ends or goods. Constitutional rights can be reconciled to the text's instrumentalist logic by viewing them as functional to better conceptions of abstract ends among actors who would compensate for their fallibility. The Federalist confirms the instrumentalism of the constitutional text. Conservative writers who treat negative liberties as constitutional ends err in several ways. They assume rational actors would establish a government for the sake of limiting it, and they ignore the positive nature of goods (life, liberty, property) that are the objects of negative liberties. They also fail to see that tax-supported protections for all positive goods, including the objects of negative liberties, must be justified by public purposes.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,351
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    14 ( #95,211 of 1,088,389 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,389 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.