David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Social Philosophy 40 (1):37-54 (2009)
In this article I revise and defend a core feature of political liberalism, namely, the idea that principles of political justice should be limited in their scope of application to what John Rawls calls the ‘basic structure of society.’ I refer to this feature as the ‘basic structure restriction’ of political liberalism. According to my account of the basic structure restriction, the basic structure includes all and only those institutions that have a profound effect on the lives of all citizens, and thus those institutions that citizens would want to organize as parts of a fair system of social cooperation. Moreover, maintaining the basic structure as a fair system of social cooperation vis-à-vis all citizens requires the exercise of coercive political power. This account of the basic structure, which I call the ‘legitimacy of coercion account,’ shows that limiting the basic structure to those institutions that are maintained by legally coercive means is not arbitrary, contrary to the claims of critics like G. A. Cohen. Furthermore, by recognizing explicitly that there exist certain institutions – and, in particular, the family – that ought to be regulated partially by coercively maintained principles, my formulation of the basic structure provides a more satisfactory account of the way in which principles of justice should apply to the family than does Rawls’s most considered account. Finally, I explain how my account of the basic structure can incorporate many of S. M. Okin’s proposed policies for promoting gender equality in society.
|Keywords||John Rawls Susan Okin Political Liberalism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
Blain Neufeld (2013). Political Liberalism and Citizenship Education. Philosophy Compass 8 (9):781-797.
Similar books and articles
Jason Brennan & John Tomasi (2012). Classical Liberalism. In David Estlund (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy. Oxford University Press, Usa. 115.
Miriam Ronzoni (2008). What Makes a Basic Structure Just? Res Publica 14 (3):203-218.
Thomas Porter (2009). The Division of Moral Labour and the Basic Structure Restriction. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (2):173-199.
Ian Hunt (2011). How Egalitarian is Rawls's Theory of Justice? Philosophical Papers 39 (2):155-181.
Corey Brettschneider (2007). The Politics of the Personal: A Liberal Approach. American Political Science Review 101 (1):19-31.
Amy R. Baehr (1996). Toward a New Feminist Liberalism: Okin, Rawls, and Habermas. Hypatia 11 (1):49 - 66.
William Glod (2010). Political Liberalism, Basic Liberties, and Legal Paternalism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (2):177-196.
Arash Abizadeh (2007). Cooperation, Pervasive Impact, and Coercion: On the Scope (Not Site) of Distributive Justice. Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (4):318–358.
Added to index2009-02-26
Total downloads74 ( #20,719 of 1,102,030 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #24,850 of 1,102,030 )
How can I increase my downloads?