Liberalism, perfectionism, and civic virtue

Philosophical Explorations 4 (3):174 – 192 (2001)
Abstract
This paper explores the question whether perfectionism amounts to a political doctrine that is more attractive than liberalism. I try to show that an egalitarian liberalism that is open to questions of value and that holds a conception of limited neutrality can meet the perfectionist challenge. My thesis is that liberalism can be reconciled easily with perfectionism read as a moral doctrine. Perfectionism as a political doctrine equally stays within the value framework of liberalism. Finally, I try to show that liberalism can give an account of civic virtue that is a sufficient basis for developing the normative guidelines of a rich and meaningful social life.
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