David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (1):39-75 (2000)
It is often claimed that liberalism is falsely and perniciously universalist. I take this charge seriously, exploring three positions: the communitarians’, Rorty’s, and that of “comprehensive” liberalism. After explaining why universalism is thought impossible, I examine the communitarian view that value is determined within communities and argue that it results in a form of relativism that is unacceptable. I next discuss Richard Rorty’s liberal acceptance of “conventionalism” and explain how, despite his rejection of universalism, Rorty remains a liberal. I then present a defense of universalism, based in part on arguments that parallel Thomas Nagel’s arguments in defense of a “view from nowhere” and Jean Hampton’s objectivist arguments against Rawls’s moves to a “merely political” theory. That defense requires that we can distance ourselves from our ends to make moral judgments shorn of all partialities.
|Keywords||universalism relativism liberalism Rorty communitarianism liberalisn|
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References found in this work BETA
Charles Taylor (1989). Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity. Harvard University Press.
Thomas Nagel (1986). The View From Nowhere. Oxford University Press.
Richard Rorty (1989). Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge University Press.
R. Rorty (1981). Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Princeton University Press.
Iris Marion Young (1990). Justice and the Politics of Difference. Princeton University Press.
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