Post‐liberalism vs. temperate liberalism

Critical Review 4 (3):365-375 (1990)
Abstract
John Gray's recent critique of liberalism, and his case for an apparently relativistic ?post?Pyrrhonian?; political philosophy, are shown to be wanting. Weaknesses in Gray's critique are identified and discussed: the characterization of liberalism as universally prescriptive, confusion about whether liberalism is a genuine tradition, and misunderstanding of the relation between conduct and the value of freedom. A formulation of liberalism that is not universalist ("temperate?; liberalism) is offered, and it is shown that one of liberalism's vital concerns?controlling political power in order to protect freedom ? is a hiatus in Gray's theory.
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