Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (4):401-419 (2009)
|Abstract||This article discusses Philip Pettit’s neo-republicanism in light of the criterion of self-sustenance: the requirement that a political theory be capable of serving as a self-sustaining public philosophy for a pluralist democracy. It argues that this criterion can only be satisfied by developing an adequate politics of virtue. Pettit’s theory is built around the notion of freedom as non-domination, and he does not say much about the virtues of citizens or the policies the state may employ to encourage their development. In order to explain the motivation to comply with republican laws that promote non-domination, Pettit relies on the phenomenon of civility and the mechanism of the intangible hand. But to understand what underlies an adequate level of robust civility one needs to focus on the more basic phenomenon of personal virtue. Policies that aim to promote non-domination should take into account the need to cultivate virtue among citizens, as well as the full range of conditions that favor its exercise|
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