David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Papers 39 (1):69-96 (2011)
The nub of the following argument is that there is a conflict between the idea of (liberal) neutrality on the one hand, and an intuitively plausible idea of political representation on the other. The conflict arises when neutrality is seen as a condition for political legitimacy: neutralist political representation is only legitimate insofar as the representative does not advance political ideas based on conceptions of the good that are not endorsed by the whole of the (reasonable) polity. However, we often encounter examples of political representation that do not live up to this demand but nevertheless seem legitimate. Hence, neutralists should explain either why this counterintuitive notion of representation does not follow from neutrality or explain what representatives are meant and allowed to do in such a political arrangement. A plausible neutralist rejoinder to this is to say that legitimacy is not dependent on neutrality for all political decisions. Neutrality is important (only or predominantly) regarding a certain body of political decisions, viz., using the Rawlsian idiom, 'constitutional essentials and matters of basic justice.' However, such a two-levelled approach is not without its problems. I argue that a skein of theoretical and practical challenges to the two-levelled approach undermines, or at least weakens, this attempt to solve the problem about representation and neutrality, and that the two-levelled approach is unclear in certain key aspects. The aim of the article is, however, quite modest. It is not to challenge neutrality per se ; rather, it is a call for further clarification of the issues pertaining to the relationship between neutrality and representation
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(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
Bruce Ackerman (1980). Social Justice in the Liberal State. Yale University Press.
Samuel Black (1992). Revisionist Liberalism and the Decline of Culture. Ethics 102 (2):244-267.
Harry Brighouse (1995). Neutrality, Publicity, and State Funding of the Arts. Philosophy and Public Affairs 24 (1):35–63.
Stephen Houlgate (2001). Hegel, Rawls, and the Rational State. In Robert Williams (ed.), Beyond Liberalism and Communitarianism: Studies in Hegel's Philosophy of Right. Suny Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Daniel M. Weinstock (2006). A Neutral Conception of Reasonableness? Episteme 3 (3):234-247.
Zhidas Daskalovski (2002). Neutrality, Liberal Nation Building and Minority Cultural Rights. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 5 (3):27-50.
Philippe Mongin (2006). Value Judgements and Value Neutrality in Economics. Economica 73 (290):257-286.
Saladin Meckled-Garcia (2001). Toleration and Neutrality: Incompatible Ideals? Res Publica 7 (3):293-313.
Matt Sensat Waldren (2013). Why Liberal Neutralists Should Accept Educational Neutrality. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):71-83.
Elizabeth Brake (2004). Rawls and Feminism: What Should Feminists Make of Liberal Neutrality? Journal of Moral Philosophy 1 (3):293-309.
Noriaki Iwasa (2010). The Impossibility of Political Neutrality. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10 (29):147-155.
Added to index2010-07-27
Total downloads7 ( #204,422 of 1,410,163 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #155,015 of 1,410,163 )
How can I increase my downloads?