David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Whether Aboriginal people should have special educational rights is a question that has simmered and occasionally boiled over during the past four decades. This dispute remains largely unresolved due to perceived tensions that exist between liberal values and minority rights. Will Kymlicka attempts to resolve this conflict by claiming that the liberal concept of autonomy can be used as a starting point for minority rights. However, there are several questions that are inadequately answered in his theory. Namely, why is autonomy so important? What is the significance of a particular culture? Should a liberal society support cultures that are illiberal? In response to these questions I will demonstrate that the liberal concept of autonomy requires that adequately restrictive cultures be protected. From this it is possible to develop a cohesive theory of minority rights that can be used to defend Aboriginal control of formal education
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