Liberalism and its critique: Is the therapy worse than the disease?

Philosophy and Social Criticism 26 (3):1-37 (2000)
Starting with the assumption that liberalism is under attack both from political and from philosophical alternatives, this paper is limited to a discussion of one family of critical arguments toward liberalism, namely the arguments that stress the importance of process as contrasted with substance. According to these arguments philosophical and political liberalism is based on substantive principles of justice, whereas a proper democratic theory should be founded on more procedural theories of justice. Such criticism ranges from democratic deliberative approaches to republican theories of politics. I examine some of these critiques of liberalism - from Habermas to Cohen, Gutmann and Thompson, from Pettit to Sunstein and Michelman - and conclude that all of them arrive at a final impasse: either they smuggle into their critiques substantive parts of liberalism or their theories do not match our philosophical and political needs. That is why I maintain that sometimes the therapy (namely democratic deliberation and republicanism) can be worse than the disease (namely liberalism). Key Words: deliberative democracy • justification • legitimation • liberalism • political philosophy • republicanism.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/019145370002600301
 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: 15,879
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

13 ( #189,657 of 1,725,176 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #268,573 of 1,725,176 )

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.