This paper provides a brief overview of the relationship between libertarian political theory and the Universal Basic Income (UBI). It distinguishes between different forms of libertarianism and argues that a one form, classicalliberalism, is compatible with and provides some grounds of support for UBI. A classical liberal UBI, however, is likely to be much smaller than the sort of UBI defended by those on the political left. And there are both contingent empirical reasons and principled moral (...) reasons for doubting that the classical liberal case for UBI will be ultimately successful at all. (shrink)
Could we plausibly believe in the fundamental tenets of classicalliberalism and, at the same time, support the state’s raising of immigration barriers? The thesis of this paper is that if we accept the main tenets of classicalliberalism as essentially correct, we should regard immigration barriers as essentially illegitimate. Considered under ideal conditions, immigration barriers constitute an unjustified infringement on individuals’ ownership rights, since it is difficult to identify a purpose that such an infringement could (...) have that would outweigh the disadvantages created by eliminating important competitive pressures on governments. Considered under nonideal conditions, the problem is, roughly, that immigration barriers cannot be seen as the choice of a lesser evil in the face of either an expected extension of the redistributive state or an expected threat on liberal institutions. On the contrary, since they relax the constraints faced by governments, immigration barriers should be seen as a major contributor in creating the conditions for the perpetuation of the sort of political arrangements that classical liberals resist. If individual sovereignty is to be protected, the sovereignty of the state over a particular territory should not include a prerogative to determine who is to inhabit it. (shrink)
This article focuses on the following three novel and original philosophical approaches to classicalliberalism: Den Uyl and Rasmussen’s perfectionist argument from meta-norms, Gaus’s justificatory model, and Kukathas’s conscience-based theory of authority. None of these three approaches are utilitarian or consequentialist in character. Neither do they appeal to the notion of a rational bargain as it is typical within contractarianism. Furthermore, each of these theory rejects the idea that classicalliberalism should be grounded on considerations of (...) interpersonal justice such as those that are central to the Lockean tradition. It is argued that these three theories, despite their many attractive features, fail to articulate in a convincing manner some central classical liberal concerns. (shrink)
The central question animating liberal thought is: How can people live together as free and equal? This question is being reinvigorated by the emergence of what we will call neoclassical liberalism. Neoclassical liberals, such as David Schmidtz, Gerald Gaus, Charles Griswold, Jacob Levy, Matt Zwolinski, Will Wilkinson, and we, the authors, share classicalliberalism’s commitment to robust economic liberties and property rights as well as modern or “high” liberalism’s commitment to social justice. On the neoclassical liberal (...) view, part of the justification for a society’s basic structure is that it produces conditions where citizens have substantive liberty, and can thus confront each other as free and equal. The basic structure of society is evaluable on the kinds of outcomes produced for citizens. Neoclassical liberals combine a robust commitment to social justice—a commitment as robust as that of high liberals—with a commitment to more extensive set of basic liberties than that advocated by high liberals. Neoclassical liberalism thus stakes out a claim to be the morally ambitious form of liberalism. (shrink)
Here it is shown that 'vacant nature' is deployed as sign in Anglo-American landscape representation of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries to support a Cartesian imaginary of spatial extension. The referent of this imaginary is variously denoted as 'America' (John Locke), the 'north west' (Jefferson), the 'wilderness' (Ralph Waldo Emerson), and the 'frontier' (Frederick Jackson Turner) but throughout it is essentially the same 'vacant' landscape; its function is to produce a site and space of appearance for an imperial self, an (...) isolate pursuing self-extension through commodity production and consumption. This spatial representation—the predecessor of the abstract space of shopping malls, interstates, commercial advertising, global markets, office buildings, and suburbs—is contrasted with 'place,' a space shaped by topography, collective memory, and ecological constraint. (shrink)
(Barthelemy} Charles (Pierre Joseph) Dunoycr (1786-1862) was born on May 20, 1786 at Carcnnac in ancient Turcnnc (Qucrcy, Cahorsin), the present-day Lot. His father, Jean-Jacqucs— Philippe Dunoyer, was scigncur dc Scgonzac. Destined at an early age for the order of St. Jean de Malte, he began his education in the order’s near-by house at Martel. With the confiscation of the 0rder’s houses in 1792, his aunt, formerly of the Visitation order, and, then, the former Benedictine prior of Carennac, continued his (...) education at home. I-lis secondary education was completed at Cahors in the écoie centrale, one of the newly established schools under the Directory in which the ideas of the 18th century philosophcs, and especially, the ldeologues, predorninated. ln 1803, Dunoyer went to Paris to study law at the newly founded Université de Jurisprudence. (shrink)
This essay seeks to start a dialogue between two traditions that historically have interpreted the economy in opposing ways: the individualism of classic economic liberalism (CEL), represented by Adam Smith and Milton Friedman, and the communitarianism of Catholic social teaching (CST), interpreted primarily through the teachings of popes and secondarily the U.S. Catholic bishops. The present authors, an economist and a moral theologian who identify with one or the other of the two traditions, strive to clarify objectively their similarities (...) and differences with the opposing perspective. Section one focuses on each position''s perspective of love of self and love of others. We find both CEL and CST saying that self-love, rightly understood, constitutes a moral good and that the love of others serves as an important principle in the political economy. We find less agreement in section two regarding justice and rights, but even here, we discover a few surprises. Both traditions uphold justice (giving to each party what is due) as essential to the political economy, and recognize some similarity in that type of justice called commutative. We note, however, substantial differences regarding a second type of justice that we call "public justice." First, they differ over the extent to which government should be involved. Here the meaning of rights, especially that of individual freedom, arises. Secondly, the traditions diverge over whether benevolence as a motivator ought to serve as a partner for public justice. Thirdly, CEL in general opposes CST''s emphasis on social justice that calls upon institutions to be proactive in helping citizens and groups to become active participants in the economy. We conclude our essay by summarizing our discoveries and by suggesting areas for further dialogue. (shrink)
Justificatory liberalism1 rests on a conception of members of the public as free and equal. To say that each is free implies that each has a fundamental claim to act as she sees fit on the basis of her own reasoning. To say that each is equal is to insist that members of the public are symmetrically placed insofar as no one has a natural right to command others, nor does anyone have a natural duty to defer to the reasoning (...) of others. Given this conception of persons as free and equal, the legal authority of the state, because it is based on the use, and the threat of, force against its citizens, is deeply problematic: state functionaries employ power to force citizens, or issue threats to use force against them, to induce conformity to the law. On what grounds could anyone exercise such power and yet claim that she is respecting the person (as free and equal) that is imposed upon? In Immanuel Kant’s eyes, a crucial and necessary condition is that the person imposed upon by the law verifies that following the law is the thing to do — it is what his own reason instructs him to do. If the imposed law reflects the reason of those who are subject to it, Kant and his followers have insisted, in a fundamental sense the law treats them as free and equal (qua legislators) even though (qua subjects) they are bound. “A rational being belongs to the realm of ends as a member when he gives universal laws in it while also himself subject to these laws. He belongs to it as sovereign when he, as legislator, is subject to the will of no other.”2 Justificatory liberalism thus starts out with the idea of “free persons who have no authority over one another”3 and seeks to show how their reason can lead each to freely accept common laws to which they are subject. Only coercive laws that are publicly justified in this way — they are endorsed by the reason of all members of the public — can respect each as free and equal. “Respect for others requires public justification of coercion: that is the clarion call of justificatory liberalism.”4 My concern in this essay is not to motivate justificatory liberalism, but to investigate its relation to we might call “substantive” liberalisms.. (shrink)
An extended discussion of Richard Allen’s Beyond Liberalism: The Political Thought of F. A. Hayek & Michael Polanyi in which the book’s prominent themes and arguments are described, and certain inaccuracies and shortcomings noted.
This paper is an attempt to identify certain consonances between contemporary liberalism and classical pragmatism. I identify four of the most trenchant criticisms of classicalliberalism presented by pragmatist figures such as James, Peirce, Dewey, Addams, and Hocking: that liberalism overemphasizes negative liberty, that it is overly individualistic, that its pluralism is suspect, that it is overly abstract. I then argue that these deficits of liberalism in its historical incarnations are being addressed by contemporary (...) liberals. Contemporary liberals, I show, have taken on board a surprising number of classical pragmatist insights and have responded to a surprising number of classical pragmatist criticisms. I thus argue that both contemporary pragmatism and contemporary liberalism have much to gain by joining forces. (shrink)
This paper defends a distinctly liberal approach to public health ethics and replies to possible objections. In particular, I look at a set of recent proposals aiming to revise and expand liberalism in light of public health's rationale and epidemiological findings. I argue that they fail to provide a sociologically informed version of liberalism. Instead, they rest on an implicit normative premise about the value of health, which I show to be invalid. I then make explicit the unobvious, (...) republican background of these proposals. Finally, I expand on the liberal understanding of freedom as non-interference and show its advantages over the republican alternative of freedom as non-domination within the context of public health. The views of freedom I discuss in the paper do not overlap with the classical distinction between negative and positive freedom. In addition, my account differentiates the concepts of freedom and autonomy and does not rule out substantive accounts of the latter. Nor does it confine political liberalism to an essentially procedural form. (shrink)
A liberalism which scorns all individualism is fundamentally misguided. This is the chief thesis of this paper. To argue for it, I look closely at some key concepts. The concepts of morislity and individualism are crucial. I emphasize Dewey on the "individuality of the mind" and a Deweyan discussion of language, communication, and community. The thesis links individualism and liberalism, and since appeals to liberalism have broader appeal in the present context of discussions, I start with consideration (...) of liberalism. The aim is to dispute overly restrictive conceptions and explore a broader perspective. To bring the argument to a close, attention turns first to Dewey on value inquiry, to Dewey's "democratic individualism" (cf. Dewey 1939, 179), and to the concept of moral community. Disputing the acquisitiveness of utilitarian influences in classicalliberalism, a Deweyan argument from the nature of moral community supports re-emphasis on individualism in contemporary liberal thought. (shrink)
: My project aims to develop a relational, pluralistic political theory that moves us beyond liberal democracy, and to consider how such a theory translates into our public school settings. In this essay I argue that Dewey offers us possibilities for moving beyond one key assumption of classicalliberalism, individualism, with his theory of social transaction. I focus my discussion for this paper on Dewey's renascent liberal democracy. I move from a discussion of Dewey's liberal democratic theory to (...) what a relational, pluralistic democratic theory might look like, with Dewey's help. (shrink)
Abstract Holding unlimited economic freedom to be nearly as dangerous as physical violence, Karl Popper advocated ?piecemeanl? economic intervention by the state. Jeremy Shearmur's recent book on Popper contends that as the philosopher aged, his views grew closer to classicalliberalism than those expressed in The Open Society?consistently with what Shearmur sees as the logic of Popper's arguments. But Popper's philosophy, while recognizing that any project aimed at bringing about social change must be immensely complex and fraught with (...) difficulty, retains grounds for hope about the purposeful use of government to bring about desirable social results. (shrink)
A major question for liberal politics and liberal political theory concerns the proper scope of government. Liberalism has always favored limited government, but there has been wide-ranging dispute among liberals about just how extensive the scope of government should be. Included in this dispute are questions about the extent of state ownership of the means of production, redistribution of wealth and income through the tax code and transfer programs, and the extent of government regulation. One of N. Scott Arnold's (...) goals is to give an accurate characterization of both modern liberalism and classicalliberalism, explaining along the way why libertarianism is not the only form that classicalliberalism can take. The main focus of Arnold's book, however, concerns regulation--specifically, the modern liberal regulatory agenda as it has taken shape in contemporary American society. This is the set of regulatory regimes favored by all modern liberals and opposed by all classical liberals. It includes contemporary employment law in all its manifestations, health and safety regulation, and land use regulation. The heart of the book consists of a systematic evaluation of arguments for and against all the items on this agenda. It turns out that there are good arguments on both sides for most of these regulatory regimes. Because of this, and because someone's vision of the proper scope of government will ultimately prevail, some procedural requirements that all liberals could agree to must be satisfied for one side to impose legitimately its values on the polity at large. These procedural requirements are identified, argued for, and then applied to the elements of the modern liberal regulatory agenda. Arnold argues that many, though not all, of these elements have been illegitimately imposed on American society. (shrink)
This paper points to a lost and ignored strand of argument in the writings of liberalism's earliest defenders. These “classical” liberals recognized that market liberty was not always compatible with individual liberty. In particular, they argued that labor markets required intervention and regulation if workers were not to be wholly subjugated to the power of their employers. Functioning capitalist labor markets (along with functioning credit markets) are not “natural” outgrowths of exchange, but achievements hard won in the battle (...) against feudalism. Further, and crucially, the existence of such markets required closing off other market choices. Footnotesa I would like to thank the other contributors to this volume, and its editors, for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this essay. (shrink)
Drieu Godefridi’s “Critique de l’utopie libertarienne”1 is not only an attempt to refute Rothbardian anarcholibertarian theory but also an attempt to resurrect the idea of the formal Rechtsstaat.2 I shall say a few words about the first topic and then present some arguments for resisting the introduction of that idea into classical liberal discourse. Contrary to Godefridi’s suggestion, there is no logical or historical ground for considering the Rechtsstaat a necessary or even useful condition of freedom. I do not (...) dispute that the Rechtsstaat was a central concept of the political liberalism that for a while held sway in Continental Europe in the nineteenth century, or that in some quarters there is considerable nostalgia for it. What I want to stress is that both in its logical definition and in its historical implementations it failed to support the classical liberal commitment to freedom, property and law. Indeed, it may.. (shrink)
The tendency of classical politics to embed the individual in universal and transcendental patterns of action followed in part from the recognition of the futility of unpredictable action oriented to the individual's transient personal future. By contrast, F. A. Hayek argues for liberalism and the rule of law because it is instrumental to the achievement of human ends. Michael Oakeshott, however, claims that freedom is a value in itself, and that liberalism should emphasize moral autonomy because the (...) moral life is public and not oriented to external ends. The moral life intimates a form of self?sufficiency in action, and self?sufficient action is timeless in the sense of being indifferent to either the past or the future. Oakeshott returns liberalism to the problems of classical politics without recourse to the dictatorial imposition of a single substantive good. (shrink)
The main objective of Rawls’ Political Liberalism was to explain how a workable theory of justice can be established and sustained within a society that is marked by reasonable pluralism. In order to meet this end, Rawls introduces the following three concepts: political conception of justice, public reason, andoverlapping consensus. By relying on these three concepts, Rawls presents his two principles of justice as a two stage process. In the first stage, the two principles of justice are presented as (...) a freestanding political conception justified solely by public reason. In the second stage, individuals engage in overlapping consensus which enables them to find additional supporting reasons for the political conception of justice from their own comprehensive doctrine. According to Rawls, even classical utilitarianism can support his two principles of justice by participating in overlapping consensus. However, Samuel Scheffler thinks that this is impossible. Scheffler’s argument relies on the fact that classical utilitarianism is decisively rejected by the initial contracting parties of the original position. Iargue that Scheffler misconceives the main purpose of the original position and that his argument doesn’t show that it is impossible for classical utilitarianism to participate in overlapping consensus. (shrink)
In “Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism” (2007), “Phenomenal Conservatism and the Internalist Intuition” (2006), and Skepticism and the Veil of Perception (2001), Michael Huemer endorses the principle of phenomenal conservatism, according to which appearances or seemings constitute a fundamental source of (defeasible) justification for belief. He claims that those who deny phenomenal conservatism, including classical foundationalists, are in a self-defeating position, for their views cannot be both true and justified; that classical foundationalists have difficulty accommodating false introspective beliefs; and that (...) phenomenal conservatism is most faithful to the central internalist intuition. I argue that Huemer’s self-defeat argument fails, that classical foundationalism is able to accommodate fallible introspective beliefs, and that classical foundationalism captures a relatively clear internalist intuition. I also show that the motivation for phenomenal conservatism is less than clear. (shrink)
According to the “internal” conception (Quong), political liberalism aims to be publicly justifiable only to people who are reasonable in a special sense specified and advocated by political liberalism itself. One advantage of the internal conception allegedly is that it enables liberalism to avoid perfectionism. The paper takes issue with this view. It argues that once the internal conception is duly pitched at its fundamental, metatheoretical level and placed in its proper discursive context, it emerges that it (...) comes at the cost of public dogma. The paper examines this problem and argues that a plausible response to this problem is to go beyond the internal conception and adopt a more inclusive, dynamic conception. But this calls for a form of perfectionism. Thus, the internal conception of political liberalism, far from showing how liberalism can be had without perfectionism, effectively calls for perfectionism as a remedy for its problems. (shrink)
A number of authors have objected to the application of non-classical logic to problems in philosophy on the basis that these non-classical logics are usually characterised by a classical metatheory. In many cases the problem amounts to more than just a discrepancy; the very phenomena responsible for non-classicality occur in the field of semantics as much as they do elsewhere. The phenomena of higher order vagueness and the revenge liar are just two such examples. The aim of (...) this paper is to show that a large class of non-classical logics are strong enough to formulate their own model theory in a corresponding non-classical set theory. Specifically I show that adequate definitions of validity can be given for the propositional calculus in such a way that the metatheory proves, in the specified logic, that every theorem of the propositional fragment of that logic is validated. It is shown that in some cases it may fail to be a classical matter whether a given sentence is valid or not. One surprising conclusion for non-classical accounts of vagueness is drawn: there can be no axiomatic, and therefore precise, system which is determinately sound and complete. (shrink)
Rawls in his later philosophy claims that it is sufficient to accept political conception as true or right, depending on what one's worldview allows, on the basis of whatever reasons one can muster, given one's worldview (doctrine). What political liberalism is interested in is a practical agreement on the political conception and not in our reasons for accepting it. There are deep issues (regarding deep values, purpose of life, metaphysics etc.) which cannot be resolved through invoking common reasons (this (...) is the fact of free reason itself), and trying to resolve them would involve us in interminable debates and would hamper the practical task of agreement on the political conception. Given the absolute necessity of a political society which is stable and enduring, it is thus wise to avoid these issues in founding a political society and choosing its basic principles - this is the pragmatic part of Rawls's position. In this paper I argue that this strategy leads Rawls into a paradox: (i) although the intention is to stay independent of comprehensive doctrines, the political conception is in fact totally (and precariously) dependent on comprehensive doctrines (not just on one doctrine but on each and every major doctrine in society). It is dependent on them: for its conceptualisation as an independent idea, for its justification, for the check of its reasonability in relation to the external world, for the formation of identities and value inculcation and hence for the formation of its model citizen; (ii) the very search for independence makes the political conception more dependent on comprehensive doctrines, and by extension makes it potentially more prone to intervention in and tampering with comprehensive doctrines (it is enough to show that it is a strong conceptual possibility to cast doubt on the whole strategy). Thus, for example, the political conception relies on the hope that “firmly held convictions gradually change” and that it would “in fact . . . have the capacity to shape those doctrines toward itself”. The purpose of the Rawlsian conjecture is to give these “hopes” a concrete, practical form by giving advice to proponents of the comprehensive doctrine on how they can do all this and “try to show them that, despite what they might think, they can still endorse a reasonable political conception”. I further argue that this paradox can be overcome by making the core of political liberalism more flexible. (shrink)
John Rawls’s political liberalism and its ideal of public reason are tremendously influential in contemporary political philosophy and in constitutional law as well. Many, perhaps even most, liberals are Rawlsians of one stripe or another. This is problematic, because most liberals also support the redefinition of civil marriage to include same-sex unions, and as I show, Rawls’s political liberalism actually prohibits same- sex marriage. Recently in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, however, California’s northern federal district court reinterpreted the traditional rational (...) basis review in terms of liberal neutrality akin to Rawls’s “public reason,” and overturned Proposition 8 and established same-sex marriage. (This reinterpretation was amplified in the 9th Circuit Court’s decision upholding the district court on appeal in Perry v. Brown.) But on its own grounds Perry should have drawn the opposite conclusion. This is because all the available arguments for recognizing same-sex unions as civil marriages stem from controversial comprehensive doctrines about the good, and this violates the ideal of public reason; yet there remains a publicly reasonable argument for traditional marriage, which I sketch here. In the course of my argument I develop Rawls’s politically liberal account of the family by drawing upon work by J. David Velleman and H. L. A. Hart, and discuss the implications of this account for political theory and constitutional law. (shrink)
In Justification without Awareness (2006), Michael Bergmann presents a dilemma for internalism from which he claims there is “no escape”: The awareness allegedly required for justification is either strong awareness, which involves conceiving of some justification-contributor as relevant to the truth of a belief, or weak awareness, which does not. Bergmann argues that the former leads to an infinite regress of justifiers, while the latter conflicts with the “clearest and most compelling” motivation for endorsing internalism, namely, that for a belief (...) to be justified its truth must not be an accident from the subject’s perspective. Bergmann’s dilemma might initially seem to have the force of a knock-down argument against the classical foundationalist accounts he considers, if not against all forms of internalism. I argue, however, that the weak-awareness horn of Bergmann’s dilemma is unsuccessful. Classical foundationalists can hold on to the main motivation for internalism and avoid a vicious regress of justifiers. (shrink)
In recent years the concepts of individual autonomy and political liberalism have been the subjects of intense debate, but these discussions have occurred largely within separate academic disciplines. Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism contains for the first time new essays devoted to foundational questions regarding both the notion of the autonomous self and the nature and justification of liberalism. Written by leading figures in moral, legal and political theory, the volume covers inter alia the following topics: (...) the nature of the self and its relation to autonomy, the social dimensions of autonomy and the political dynamics of respect and recognition, and the concept of autonomy underlying the principles of liberalism. (shrink)
The author of this paper compares Kant’s notion of cosmopolitan right with contemporary liberal cosmopolitanism of such theorists like James Bohman (Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University) and David Held (Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science). These two theorists bring Kant’s cosmopolitan right and reshape it by taking into consideration the process of globalization and the fact of pluralism. It is necessary to investigate how far these authors have changed the insight into Kant’s cosmopolitan right (...) and its implications as well as how deeply the authors reshape the classical liberal political vocabulary. (shrink)
In this paper, I propose to look closely at certain crucial aspects of the logic of Rawls' argument in Political Liberalism and related subsequent writings. Rawls' argument builds on the notion of comprehensiveness, whereby a doctrine encompasses the full spectrum of the life of its adherents. In order to show the mutual conflict and irreconcilability of comprehensive doctrines, Rawls needs to emphasise the comprehensiveness of doctrines, as their irreconcilability to a large extent emanates from that comprehensiveness. On the other (...) hand, in order to show the possibility and plausibility of the political liberal solution he needs to emphasise that most of these doctrines are reasonable: i.e., they are willing to cede a portion of their authority to political liberalism for the right reasons. Yet, if they are willing to cede a portion of their authority to a political conception they cannot be as comprehensive as we initially thought they were. All these elements highlight the tension in the argument itself. I suggest that many of these tensions can be removed by making Rawls' account more flexible. In this context I propose certain amendments to Rawls' account, which may overcome some of the tensions mentioned above. (shrink)
Contrary to Bell’s theorem it is demonstrated that with the use of classical probability theory the quantum correlation can be approximated. Hence, one may not conclude from experiment that all local hidden variable theories are ruled out by a violation of inequality result.
How do we figure out the fundamental nature of the world from a mathematically formulated physical theory? To figure out the nature of a world’s spacetime, we follow this rule: posit the least spacetime structure to the world that’s required by the fundamental dynamical laws. Applied to special relativity, for example, this rule tells us to not posit an absolute simultaneity structure. I suggest that we use this rule for more than just spacetime structure. We should also posit the least (...) statespace structure required by the fundamental dynamical laws. This rule yields surprising conclusions. Applied to classical mechanics, it suggests that a world governed by the theory has less fundamental structure than we ordinarily think. For the theory’s statespace imparts less structure to a world’s physical space than we ordinarily think. (shrink)
A critical discussion of Toula Nicolacopoulos' 'The Radical Critique of Liberalism'. I analyse her methodology of 'critical reconstructionism' and argue that considerations about the epistemic status of the inquiring practices leading to the formulation of liberal political theory need not affect the viability and desirability of liberal political practice, especially if we adopt a historically-informed realist account of the foundations of liberalism.
In this article it is presented the idea that quantum electrodynamics has to be seen as a theoretical upgrade of classical electrodynamics and the theory of relativity, that permits an extension of classical theory in the description of phenomena, that while being clearly related to the conceptual framework of the classical theory – the description of matter, radiation, and their interaction – cannot be properly addressed from the classical theory. In this way quantum electrodynamics would not (...) be a fundamental theory, and principally, we could not consider classical electrodynamics as contained in the quantum theory and being recovered from it by some sort of limiting procedure. (shrink)
This collection of essays is dedicated to the memory of the late Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick, who died in 2002. The publication of Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia in 1974 revived serious interest in natural rights liberalism, which, beginning in the latter half of the eighteenth century, had been eclipsed by a succession of antithetical political theories including utilitarianism, progressivism, and various egalitarian and collectivist ideologies. Some of our contributors critique Nozick's political philosophy. Other contributors examine earlier figures in (...) the liberal tradition, most notably John Locke, whose Second Treatise of Government, published in the late seventeenth century, profoundly influenced the American founders. The remaining authors analyze natural rights liberalism's central doctrines. (shrink)
In Liberalism and Pluralism, Richard Bellamy explores the challenges posed by conflicting values, interests and identities to liberal democracy. Conventional liberal thought is no longer suited to the complex, plural societies of today. By analyzing the three major strands of liberal thought as represented by Hayek, Rawls and Walzer, the author reveals how standard liberalism has tried to circumvent unstable settlements. This book establishes a more satisfactory alternative: namely, negotiated compromise.
This is the first in-depth critical appraisal in English of the political, legal, and cultural writings of Carl Schmitt, perhaps this century's most brilliant critic of liberalism. It offers an assessment of this most sophisticated of fascist theorists without attempting either to apologise for or demonise him. Schmitt's Weimar writings confront the role of technology as it finds expression through the principles and practices of liberalism. Contemporary political conditions such as disaffection with liberalism and the rise of (...) extremist political organizations have rendered Schmitt's work both relevant and insightful. John McCormick examines why technology becomes a rallying cry for both right- and left-wing intellectuals at times when liberalism appears anachronistic, and shows the continuities between Weimar's ideological debates and those of our own age. (shrink)
Panentheism seems to be an attractive alternative to classical theism. It is not clear, though, what exactly panentheism asserts and how it relates to classical theism. By way of clarifying the thesis of panentheism, I argue that panentheism and classical theism differ only as regards the modal status of the world. According to panentheism, the world is an intrinsic property of God – necessarily there is a world – and according to classical theism the world is (...) an extrinsic property of God – it is only contingently true that there is a world. Therefore, as long as we do not have an argument showing that necessarily there is a world, panentheism is not an attractive alternative to classical theism. (shrink)
Table of Contents: Politics, morality, and pluralism -- Liberal morality and political legitimacy -- Political legitimacy and social justice -- Williams's concept of the political -- Legitimacy, stability, and morality -- The politics of morality -- A moral point of view -- Manners and morality -- Morality and conflict -- Moral conflict and political theory -- The morality of politics -- Feminism and multiculturalism -- A defense of culture -- Politics and normative conflict -- The political as moral viewpoint -- (...) Morality and politics: a review -- Political unity and pluralism -- The liberal archipelago -- Loose linkage and political legitimacy -- Political unity and the body politic -- Social justice and political unity -- The bonds of civility -- Nationhood and the liberal polity -- The nature of nationhood -- Pluralism and nationalism -- Nationalism and social justice -- Deliberative democracy and the liberal polity -- Liberalism and democracy -- Democracy and deliberative discourse -- The terms of deliberative discourse -- Normative discourse and political legitimacy -- Deliberative democracy and intragroup politics -- Group autonomy and intergroup discourse -- Politics, history, and reason -- Principle and justice in the liberal polity -- Liberal institutions and liberal ideals -- Stopping history -- Rationalism and politics. (shrink)
This work brings together leading defenders of Natural Law and Liberalism for a series of frank and lively exchanges touching upon critical issues of contemporary moral and political theory. The book is an outstanding example of the fruitful engagement of traditions of thought about fundamental matters of ethics and justice.
In this paper I look at three versions of the charge that liberalism’s emphasis on individuals is detrimental to community—that it encourages a pernicious disregard of others by fostering a particular understanding of the individual and the relation she has with her society. According to that understanding, individuals are fundamentally independent entities who only enter into relations by choice and society is seen as nothing more than a venture voluntarily entered into in order to better oneself. Communitarian critics argue (...) that since liberals neglect the degree to which individuals are dependent upon their society for their self-understanding and understanding of the good, they encourage individuals to maintain a personal distance from others in their society. The detrimental effect this distancing is said to have on communities is often called “asocial individualism” or “asocialism.” I argue that all three versions of the charge fail against liberalism and that liberalism—with its insistence on the normative import of individuals—is not detrimental to communities, but can actually foster strong communities. (shrink)
Moral relativism is often regarded as both fatally flawed and incompatible with liberalism. This book aims to show why such criticism is misconceived. First, it argues that relativism provides a plausible account of moral justification. Drawing on the contemporary relatavist and universalist analyses of thinkers such as Harman, Nagel and Habermas, it develops an alternative account of coherence relativism.
Agonism is a political theory that places contestation at the heart of politics. Agonistic theorists charge liberal theory with a depoliticization of pluralism through an excessive focus on consensus. This paper examines the agonistic critiques of liberalism from a normative perspective. I argue that by itself the argument from pluralism is not sufficient to support an agonistic account of politics, but points to further normative commitments. Analyzing the work of Mouffe, Honig, Connolly, and Owen, I identify two normative currents (...) of agonistic theory: emancipatory agonism, aimed at challenging violence and exclusion, and perfectionist agonism, aimed at the cultivation of nobility. From a normative perspective the former presents an internal challenge to liberalism, while the latter constitutes an external challenge to liberalism by providing a competing account of the ends of politics. Recognition of the distinction between emancipatory and perfectionist agonism is crucial in assessing the purchase of agonistic critiques of liberalism. Furthermore, this analysis draws us beyond the simple opposition between contestation and consensus. It is not simply a question of valuing genuine pluralism and therefore criticizing consensus; rather the question comes to be: what are the ends of politics? (shrink)
This article examines the attempts by John Rawls in the works published after "Political Liberalism" to engage with some of the feminist responses to his work. Rawls goes a long way toward addressing some of the major feminist-liberal concerns. Yet this has the unintended consequence of pushing justice as fairness in the direction of a more comprehensive, rather than a strictly political, form of liberalism. This does not seem to be a problem peculiar to Rawls: rather, any form (...) of liberalism hospitable to feminist concerns must be, at the very least, a partly comprehensive, rather than a strictly political, doctrine. (shrink)
Contrary to the widespread belief, the problem of the emergence of classical mechanics from quantum mechanics is still open. In spite of many results on the ¯h → 0 asymptotics, it is not yet clear how to explain within standard quantum mechanics the classical motion of macroscopic bodies. In this paper we shall analyze special cases of classical behavior in the framework of a precise formulation of quantum mechanics, Bohmian mechanics, which contains in its own structure the (...) possibility of describing real objects in an observer-independent way. (shrink)
`I would encourage undergraduates students to read it, for it does summarise well a classical Marxist analysis of social policy and welfare' - Social Policy The anti-capitalist movement is increasingly challenging the global hegemony of neo-liberalism. The arguments against the neo-liberal agenda are clearly articulated in Rethinking Welfare. The authors highlight the growing inequalities and decimation of state welfare, and use Marxist approaches to contemporary social policy to provide a defence of the welfare state. Divided into three main (...) sections, the first part of this volume looks at the growth of inequality, and social and environmental degradation. Part Two centres on the authors' argument for the relevance of core Marxists concepts in aiding our understanding of social policy. This section includes Marxist approaches to a range of welfare issues, and their implications for studying welfare regimes and practices. Issues covered include: · Class and class struggle · Opression · Alienation and the family The last part of the book explores the question of globalization and the consequences of international neo-liberalism on indebted countries as well as the neo-liberal agenda of the Conservative and New Labour governments in Britain. The authors conclude with the prospect of an alternative welfare future which may form part of the challenge against global neo-liberalism. (shrink)
There is a tendency in contemporary jurisprudence to regard political authority and, more particularly, legal intervention in human affairs as having no justification unless it can be defended by what Laing calls the principle of modern liberal autonomy (MLA). According to this principle, if consenting adults want to do something, unless it does specific harm to others here and now, the law has no business intervening. Harm to the self and general harm to society can constitute no justification for legal (...) regulation or prohibition. So pervasive is this understanding of legal intervention in human affairs, that it is common now to encounter arguments in favour of permissive laws on, for example, private drug use, pornography, sexual and reproductive choice, based on the idea that to intervene in these areas would constitute a breach of the liberal ideal. The only alternative to modern liberal autonomy is assumed to be radical oppression, in which the State intervenes in the individual’s life to impose unwarranted measures designed to further its own ends. The legacy of Stalin, Hitler and other modern tyrants has undermined conceptual appeals to the common good. So widespread is this liberal assumption in the Western, English-speaking world that critics of the outlook embodied by MLA are customarily regarded with suspicion and charged with paternalism, narrow-mindedness and intolerance. Laing highlights contradictions inherent in the modern liberal tradition. She argues that there is a certain reliance on the notion of the common good within the natural law tradition that is instructive. According to this view, the common good constitutes a mean between two extremes: on the one hand, contemporary liberalism’s over-insistence on radical individual autonomy and, on the other hand, totalitarianism’s over-emphasis on collective social benefit. There is, I will argue, substantial terrain between the conceptual excesses of modern liberalism and oppressive tyranny that needs to be acknowledged and discussed. (shrink)
In this paper I defend Richard Rorty against two critics of his moral and political philosophy—Will Kymlicka and Robert Talisse—to whom Rorty himself never responded directly. I argue that Kymlicka misrepresents Rorty’s so-called “ethnocentrism” by giving it a needlessly affirmative reading, and that Talisse, by failing to appreciate the distinction between “making truth claims” and “proposing experiments” misunderstands both Rorty’s use of Darwin and his antifoundational liberalism.
In this paper I argue that Rawlsians have largely misunderstood the idea of an overlapping consensus of reasonable comprehensive doctrines, thereby failing to delineate in an appropriate way the place of comprehensive doctrines in political liberalism. My argument rests on two core claims. The first claim is that (i) political liberalism is committed to three theses about the overlapping consensus. The first thesis concerns the subject of the overlapping consensus; the second thesis concerns the function of the overlapping (...) consensus; the third thesis explains how the overlapping consensus can serve its function in accordance with political liberalism’s commitment to epistemic neutrality. The second claim on which my argument relies is empirical: (ii) Rawlsians typically deny at least one of the three theses to which political liberalism is committed. Based on (i) and (ii), I conclude that Rawlsians have hitherto provided unconvincing accounts of the place of comprehensive doctrines in political liberalism. (shrink)
In the attempt of defending an interpretation of David Hume's moral and political philosophy connected to classical utilitarianism, intervenes in a key way the so called problem of the " Sensitive Knave " raised by this author at the end of his more utilitarian work, the Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. According to the classic interpretation of this fragment, the utilitarian rationality in politics would clash with morality turning useless the latter. Therefore, in the political area the defense (...) of a moral utilitarianism would be an auto contradictory task. In order to show that, first, Hume does not say anything similar to this and second, that even indicates the way of overcoming this apparent contradiction between morality and rationality, we analyze briefly the arguments from which there comes basically this "anti-utilitarian" standard interpretation, and we defend an interpretation of the humean discussion on the problem of the supposed conflict between morality and rationality, or of rational incentives for immoral behavior, which allows to explain better Hume's position on this problem. Finally, we propose an instance of overcoming the contradiction morality/ rationality by a rule adjusted utilitarianism centered on the idea of the "progressive development of artificial institutions of reinforcement of morality", that Hume himself would suggest in other places in which he approaches the topic of the apparent contradiction between "morality" and "knavery". We propose also possible lines of future development of this idea, between them its use to clarify the relation of David Hume's thought with certain forms of contemporary liberalism. (shrink)
Classical physics is about real objects, like apples falling from trees, whose motion is governed by Newtonian laws. In standard quantum mechanics only the wave function or the results of measurements exist, and to answer the question of how the classical world can be part of the quantum world is a rather formidable task. However, this is not the case for Bohmian mechanics, which, like classical mechanics, is a theory about real objects. In Bohmian terms, the problem (...) of the classical limit becomes very simple: when do the Bohmian trajectories look Newtonian? (shrink)
Mill and Liberalism was first published in 1963. Initial reactions varied from the uncomprehending to the splenetic. In the intervening quarter-century the intellectual climate has changed as reflected by its greatest exemplar, to warrant fresh consideration. Unlike many commentators, before or subsequently, Maurice Cowling endeavours to view Mill's thought as a coherent whole with a specific proselytising purpose, geared to the emasculation of Christianity and its replacement by a libertarian public doctrine. This interpretation aroused much contemporary hostility, and in (...) a new introduction Cowling locates Mill and Liberalism within the broader intellectual history of post-war Britain, looking at the various strands of the 'new Right' and relating the academic to more specifically journalistic or political manifestations. (shrink)
Certain English writers of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, whom scholars often associate with classical republicanism, were not, in fact, hostile to liberalism. Indeed, these thinkers contributed to a synthesis of liberalism and modern republicanism. As this book argues, Marchamont Nedham, James Harrington, Henry Neville, Algernon Sidney, and John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, the co-authors of a series of editorials entitled Cato's Letters, provide a synthesis that responds to the demands of both republicans and liberals by (...) offering a politically engaged citizenry as well as the protection of individual rights. The book also reinterprets the writings of Machiavelli and Hobbes to show that each contributed in a fundamental way to the formation of this liberal republicanism. (shrink)
Public justification-based accounts of liberal legitimacy rely on the idea that a polity’s basic structure should, in some sense, be acceptable to its citizens. In this paper I discuss the prospects of that approach through the lens of Gerald Gaus’ critique of John Rawls’ paradigmatic account of democratic public justification. I argue that Gaus does succeed in pointing out some significant problems for Rawls’ political liberalism; yet his alternative, justificatory liberalism, is not voluntaristic enough to satisfy the desiderata (...) of a genuinely democratic theory of public justification. Moreover I contend that — pace Gaus — rather than simply amending political liberalism, the claims of justificatory liberalism cast serious doubts on the sustainability of the project of grounding liberal-democratic legitimacy through the idea of public justification. (shrink)
Quantum logic is only applicable to microscopic phenomena while classical logic is exclusively used for everyday reasoning, including mathematics. It is shown that both logics are unified in the framework of modal interpretation. This proposed method deals with classical propositions as latently modalized propositions in the sense that they exhibit manifest modalities to form quantum logic only when interacting with other classical subsystems.
The question as to whether the Vedas have an author is the topic of vivid polemics in Indian philosophy. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct the classical Sāṁkhya view on the authorship of the Vedas. The research is based chiefly on the commentaries to the Sāṁkhyakārikā definition of authoritative verbal testimony given by the classical Sāṁkhya writers, for these fragments provide the main evidence (both direct and indirect) for the reconstruction of this view. The textual analysis (...) presented in this paper leads to the following conclusion. According to most classical Sāṁkhya commentaries, the Vedas have no author. Two commentators state directly that the Vedas have no author, and four commentators allude to the authorlessness of the Vedas. Only one commentator seems to hold the opposite view, stating that all the authoritative utterances are based on perception or inference of imperceptible objects by authoritative persons, from which it follows that the Vedas too have an author or authors. (shrink)
We show that the relational semantics of the Lambek calculus, both nonassociative and associative, is also sound and complete for its extension with classical propositional logic. Then, using filtrations, we obtain the finite model property for the nonassociative Lambek calculus extended with classical propositional logic.
This essay assess the compatibility of Eva Kittay's dependency critique with Rawlsian political liberalism. I argue for the inclusion of a modified version of Kittay's revisions within Rawlsian theory in order to yield a theory that suppports a substantial subset of dependency work. Beyond these selected changes, however, I argue that Kittay's other proposed changes should not be included because they are incompatible with Rawls, and furthermore, their incorporation does not yield a theory that includes utter dependents.
Does John Rawls’s political liberalism require the institutional separation between state and religion or does it allow space for moderate forms of religious establishment? In this paper I address this question by presenting and critically evaluating Cécile Laborde’s recent claim that political liberalism is ‘inconclusive about the public place of religion’ and ‘indeterminate about the symbolic dimensions of the public place of religion’. In response to Cécile Laborde, I argue that neither moderate separation nor moderate establishment, intended as (...) regimes of religious governance that fix specific interpretations of principles of social and economic justice, are compatible with Rawls’s political liberalism. Furthermore, I claim that a state can ensure that both its religious and non-religious citizens enjoy a sense of self-respect and identification with their polity by leaving issues of symbolic establishment and separation open to democratic debate. I conclude that Rawls’s political liberalism transcends the standard distinction between moderate establishment and moderate separation and leaves the public place of religion open to the democratic contestation of ordinary legislative politics. (shrink)
Some claim that liberalism is detrimental to individuals as it encourages anomie which disallows social confirmation of beliefs, without which the individual is left with uncertainty about her judgments that is opposed to firm conviction, and thus, confidence and self-respect. All agree that self-respect is important; disagreement arises about how self-respect is best supported. Both anomie and loss of self-respect are meant to follow from liberalism’s unwillingness to endorse a conception of the Good. This is the “anomie challenge.” (...) I begin by discussing toleration and neutrality and motivating the problem. I then look at responses to the challenge by liberal pluralists and liberalism’s critics. After dismissing both, I argue that the right to choose is the good to be advocated and that it allows for supportive, but voluntary, social structures. I conclude that liberalism better supports self-respect than the alternatives. (shrink)
In the history of modern liberal thought, the work of F.A. Hayek stands out as among the most significant contributions since that of J.S. Mill. In this book, Kukathas critically examines the nature and coherence of Hayek's defense of liberal principles, attempting both to identify its weaknesses and to show why it makes an important contribution to contemporary political theory. Kukathas argues that Hayek's defense of liberalism is unsuccessful because it rests on presuppositions which are philosophically incompatible. In his (...) view, the unresolved dilemma of Hayek's political philosophy is how to mount a systematic defense of liberalism if one emphasizes the limited capacity of human reason. Hayek's social philosophy, he argues, offers a significant theory of the nature of social processes, and is therefore an important account of how this must constrain our choice of political principles. (shrink)
A liberal society seeks not to impose a single way of life, but to leave its citizens as free as possible to choose their own values and ends. It therefore must govern by principles of justice that do not presuppose any particular vision of the good life. But can any such principles be found? And if not, what are the consequences for justice as a moral and political ideal? These are the questions Michael Sandel takes up in this penetrating critique (...) of contemporary liberalism. Sandel locates modern liberalism in the tradition of Kant, and focuses on its most influential recent expression in the work of John Rawls. In the most important challenge yet to Rawls' theory of justice, Sandel traces the limits of liberalism to the conception of the person that underlies it, and argues for a deeper understanding of community than liberalism allows. (shrink)
In Hegel's Critique of Liberalism , Steven B. Smith examines Hegel's critique of rights-based liberalism and its relevance to contemporary political concerns. Smith argues that Hegel reformulated classic liberalism, preserving what was of value while rendering it more attentive to the dynamics of human history and the developmental structure of the moral personality. Hegel's goal, Smith suggests, was to find a way of incorporating both the ancient emphasis on the dignity and even architectonic character of political life (...) with the modern concern for freedom, rights, and mutual recognition. Smith's insightful analysis reveals Hegel's relevance not only to contemporary political philosophers concerned with normative issues of liberal theory but also to political scientists who have urged a revival of the state as a central concept of political inquiry. (shrink)
This book advances a theory of personal, public and political justification. Drawing on current work in epistemology and cognitive psychology, the work develops a theory of personally justified belief. Building on this account, it advances an account of public justification that is more normative and less "populist" than that of "political liberals." Following the social contract theories of Hobbes, Locke and Kant, the work then argues that citizens have conclusive reason to appoint an umpire to resolve disputes arising from inconclusive (...) public justifications. The rule of law, liberal democracy and limited judicial review are defended as elements of a publicly justified umpiring procedure. (shrink)
A simple method is provided for translating proofs in Grentzen's LK into proofs in Gentzen's LJ with the Peirce rule adjoined. A consequence is a simpler cut elimination operator for LJ + Peirce that is primitive recursive.
This is a review of Horacio Spector's book on the occassion of its publiaction in paperback form in 2007. The version of the review posted here includes a number of footnotes and references that had to be deleted in the final published version.
In this essay I sketch a philosophical argument for classicalliberalism based on the requirements of public reason. I argue that we can develop a philosophical liberalism that, unlike so much recent philosophy, takes existing social facts and mores seriously while, at the same time, retaining the critical edge characteristic of the liberal tradition. I argue that once we develop such an account, we are led toward a vindication of “old” (qua classical) liberal morality—what Benjamin Constant (...) called the “liberties of the moderns.” A core thesis of the paper is that a regime of individual rights is crucial to the project of public justification because it disperses moral authority to individuals thus mitigating what I call the “burdens of justification.” Footnotesa Earlier versions of this essay were presented at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Philosophy Department workshop on the morality of capitalism, and at the conference on rights theory at the Murphy Institute, Tulane University. I am grateful for the comments of the participants; my special thanks to David Schmidtz, Julian Lamont, and Andrea Houchard for their useful written comments and suggestions. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction William A. Galston and Peter H. Hoffenberg; 2. Global poverty and uneven development Sakiko Fukuda-Parr; 3. The karma of poverty: a Buddhist perspective David R. Loy; 4. Poverty and morality in Christianity Kent A. Van Til; 5. Classicalliberalism, poverty, and morality Tom G. Palmer; 6. Confucian perspectives on poverty and morality Peter Nosco; 7. Poverty and morality: a feminist perspective Nancy J. Hirschmann; 8. Hinduism and poverty Arvind Sharma; 9. The problem (...) of poverty in Islamic ethics Sohail H. Hashmi; 10. Jewish perspectives on poverty Noam Zohar; 11. Liberal egalitarianism and poverty Darrel Moellendorf; 12. Marxism and poverty Andrew Levine; 13. Poverty and natural law Stephen J. Pope; 14. Afterword Michael Walzer. (shrink)
No natural rights theory justifies strong intellectual property rights. More specifically, no theory within the entire domain of natural rights thinking – encompassing classicalliberalism, libertarianism and left-libertarianism, in all their innumerable variants – coherently supports strengthening current intellectual property rights. Despite their many important differences, all these natural rights theories endorse some set of members of a common family of basic ethical precepts. These commitments include non-interference, fairness, non-worsening, consistency, universalisability, prior consent, self-ownership, self-governance, and the establishment (...) of zones of autonomy. Such commitments have clear applications pertaining to the use and ownership of created ideas. I argue that each of these commitments require intellectual property rights to be substantially limited in scope, strength and duration. In this way the core mechanisms of natural rights thinking ensure a robust public domain and categorically rule out strong intellectual property rights. (shrink)
Jürgen Habermas has emerged as a sharp, and occasionally harsh, critic of the Bush administration’s policies since the Iraq war. Habermas has developed this critique in several of his short pieces and interviews, some of which are available in fine collections in both English and other languages. However, the occasional and journalistic character of Habermas’ political interventions often hide the theoretical basis of his critique. In this paper, I argue that Habermas’ critique of the Bush administration’s foreign policy emanates from, (...) and is founded upon, his conception of modernity, and specifically his views about the relationship between “particularity” and “generality.” The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate how Habermas’ critique can actually be read as a critique of particularism, which Habermas sees operating behind American (and British) foreign policy, and which, in his view, compromises the key achievements of modernity (especially in its Kantian version.). (shrink)
Among the numerous moral commodities that political orders can produceand protect, classicalliberalism assigns primacy to liberty, understoodas noninterference. As the nineteenth century advanced into its secondhalf, this primacy was increasingly seen as myopic. A more defensibleliberalism will devote itself to a wider range of basic human interests:this critique gained virtually unanimous acceptance within the newliberalism. Yet, surprisingly, during the past two decades classicalliberalism seems to have enjoyed a resurrection. This essay arguesthat it is well merited, that the (...) superficial plausibility of the newliberal critique shielded a confusion between the questions of whichgoods matter and how they are properly to be afforded politicalrecognition. (shrink)
"When John Dewey died in 1952, he was memorialized as America's most famous philosopher, revered by liberal educators and deplored by conservatives, but universally acknowledged as his country's intellectual voice. Many things conspired to give Dewey an extraordinary intellectual eminence: He was immensely long-lived and immensely prolific; he died in his ninety-third year, and his intellectual productivity hardly slackened until his eighties." "Professor Alan Ryan offers new insights into Dewey's many achievements, his character, and the era in which his scholarship (...) had a remarkable impact. He investigates the question of what an American audience wanted from a public philosopher - from an intellectual figure whose credentials came from his academic standing as a philosopher, but whose audience was much wider than an academic one." "Ryan argues that Dewey's "religious" outlook illuminates his politics much more vividly than it does the politics of religion as ordinarily conceived. He examines how Dewey fit into the American radical tradition, how he was and was not like his transatlantic contemporaries, why he could for so long practice a form of philosophical inquiry that became unfashionable in England after 1914 at the latest."--BOOK JACKET. (shrink)
‘The one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does’ (James 1:25). Freedom, in one sense of the word or another, is a central theme of the bible, the Old Testament as well as the New. During the Middle Ages, Christian theologians developed this theme into a doctrine of the natural right of freedom of the individual (...) or natural person and made it into a moral and intellectual bulwark against the encroachments of the modern state. The classical liberal or libertarian tradition in Western political thought, from John Locke to the American Founding Fathers to Friedrich Hayek and Murray Rothbard, owes an immense debt to the likes of Thomas Aquinas, Jean Gerson, Francisco de Vitoria, Juan de Mariana and Batholomé de las Casas. Not coincidentally Christianity and classicalliberalism together went into rapid decline towards the end of the nineteenth century and especially in the globalisation of European wars in the twentieth century. At that time, mass democracy and national expediency became the pretexts of choice to subvert constitutional limitations on the use of political power. The decline was not halted —was perhaps even accelerated—when Christians and liberals alike began to adopt ‘social doctrines’ and the advocacy of social policies that only confirmed the impression that there is no salvation outside the state. However, I do not intend to describe the historical linkages between classicalliberalism and Christianity. Instead I shall try to explicate their relevant common concept of personal freedom and trace its role in some of the central stories of the bible, those that purport to be direct reports of the actions and words of God or Jesus Christ. I am not concerned here with the stories about the Jews or with the reports of what prophets and apostles said about the meaning and relevance of the divine words and actions. Important as they are for understanding the Jewish and the Christian traditions, they already are historical expressions and applications of religious beliefs rather than expositions of the story to which those beliefs refer.. (shrink)
underpinning of the cognitive sciences. I argue, however, that it often fails to provide adequate explanations, in particular in conjunction with competence theories. This failure originates in the idealizations in competence descriptions, which either ?block? the cascade, or produce a successful cascade which fails to explain cognition.
Libertarians and classical liberals typically defend private economic liberty as a requirement of self-ownership or on the basis of consequentialist arguments of various sorts. By contrast, this paper defends private economic liberty as a requirement of democratic legitimacy. In recent decades, many philosophers have converged upon a certain view about political justification. If a set of social institutions is to be just and legitimate, those institutions must be acceptable in principle to the citizens who are to lead their lives (...) within them. This deliberative or democratic approach to justification is traditionally associated with thinkers on the left who are skeptical of the importance of private economic liberty. This article shows how the protection of private economic liberty is a requirement of citizens' developing and exercising the moral powers they have as democratic citizens. Democratic legitimacy does not require the affirmation of absolute economic liberty rights as sometimes defended by libertarians. But democratic legitimacy does require that a wide range of private economic liberties be meriting constitutional protection on a par with the civil and political liberties of democratic citizens. This opens the way for a wider defense of classicalliberalism based upon the idea of democratic legitimacy. (shrink)
Like most terms in social theory, the term "conservative" is profoundly ambiguous and contested. In the United States today the word is often applied to those who call for an absolute minimum of government interference in capitalist markets. In another meaning it refers to those who insist that social life should center on the preservation of a community’s traditions and cultural values. There is a deep tension between these two viewpoints. Capitalist markets left to themselves radically destabilize established communities, and (...) so preserving cultural traditions and values requires political intervention in economic life. Given this ineluctable tension it is probably best not to use the same term to refer to both positions. In the present paper I shall refer to the former perspective, whose intellectual roots are found in the "classicalliberalism" of John Locke and others, as "neoliberalism." The latter perspective will be referred to as "neoconservatism.". (shrink)
This book offers a distinctive treatment of Hayek's ideas as a "research program". It presents a detailed account of aspects of Hayek's intellectual development and of problems that arise within his work, and then offers some broad suggestions as to ways in which the program initiated in his work might be developed further. The book discusses how Popper and Lakatos' ideas about "research programs" might be applied within political theory. There then follows a distinctive presentation of Hayek's intellectual development up (...) to The Road to Serfdom, together with critical engagement with his later ideas. The discussion draws on a full range of his writings, makes use of some neglected earlier work on social theory and law, and also draws on archival material. This book should appeal to anyone with an interest in Hayek's work, as well as to those with a concern for twentieth century intellectual history. (shrink)
Public law adjudication has grown dramatically in recent decades in many English-speaking countries. In the United States, and increasingly in other countries where it used to be rare for public questions to be decided in court, controversial questions of public policy are tried as constitutional or human rights issues and decided by court order. But in other areas of law - in everyday tort, contract, and property cases - court decisions are typically much less dramatic and seldom if ever announce (...) controversial innovations in public policy. Yet in private law cases too there are implicit questions of social justice.In common law countries, perhaps not surprisingly, tort, contract, and other private law cases are often decided on common law principles. Common law has a style and ethos of its own. It is based on precedent and, although precedent is open to modification, the common law style is anything but radical. With roots in the nineteenth century and earlier, common law often reflects classically liberal ideas, more or less consciously and more or less robustly.Instead of approaching private law cases with a common law mindset, should judges not treat these cases the way they might treat public law cases? Should courts not promote a vision of justice and human rights through private law adjudication, just as they sometimes - and in many countries increasingly - do in notable public law decisions?This article suggests several reasons why they should not. Turning private law more public in such a way would have considerable costs in legal stability, transparency, legitimacy, and judicial habits of neutrality and impartiality. Each of these considerations in turn is associated with what is generally thought of as the Rule of Law. The classically liberal ideas in the common law bloodstream themselves have at least some association with political freedom and the Rule of Law. And even if one is sceptical about classicalliberalism and enthusiastic about today's public law, one might consider that public acceptance of ambitious public law adjudication may depend at least in part on the credit that courts build up through morally and politically unambitious day-to-day common law adjudication. (shrink)
The purpose of my paper is to show the derivation of what is sometimes called the ‘new liberalism’ (or ‘progressive liberalism’) from the basic principles of classicalliberalism, through a reading of John Locke’s treatment of the right to property in his Second Treatise of Government. Locke’s work sharply distinguishes between the natural right to property in the ‘state of nature’ and the societal right to property as established in a socio-economic political system. Whereas the former (...) does not depend on the consent of others, it is qualified by strict limits on the amount of property that may be rightly acquired. The societal right to property lifts these limits but is justified only under the principle of universal consent. This principle, I argue, implies the Rawlsian difference principle; i.e., that the regulation and distribution of property must be such as would elicit the freely proffered consent of society’s least advantaged members. (shrink)
Community remains a potent symbol and aspiration in political and intellectual life. However, it has largely passed out of sociological analysis. The paper shows why this has occurred, and it develops a new typology that can make the concept useful again in sociology. The new typology is based on identifying structurally distinct subtypes of community using a small number of partitioning variables. The first partition is defined by the ultimate context of interaction; the second by the primary motivation for interaction; (...) the third by rates of interaction and location of members; and the fourth by the amount of face-to-face as opposed to computer-mediated interaction. This small number of partitioning variables yields eight major subtypes of community. The paper shows how and why these major subtypes are related to important variations in the behavioral and organizational outcomes of community. The paper also seeks to resolve some disagreements between classicalliberalism and communitarians. It shows that only a few of the major subtypes of community are likely to be as illiberal and intolerant as the selective imagery of classical liberals asserts, while at the same time only a few are prone to generate as much fraternalism and equity as the selective imagery of communitarians suggests. The paper concludes by discussing the forms of community that are best suited to the modern world. (shrink)
This study explains how the myths of Greece and Rome were transmitted from antiquity to the Renaissance. Luc Brisson argues that philosophy was ironically responsible for saving myth from historical annihilation. Although philosophy was initially critical of myth because it could not be declared true or false and because it was inferior to argumentation, mythology was progressively reincorporated into philosophy through allegorical exegesis. Brisson shows to what degree allegory was employed among philosophers and how it enabled myth to take on (...) a number of different interpretive systems throughout the centuries: moral, physical, psychological, political, and even metaphysical. How Philosophers Saved Myths also describes how, during the first years of the modern era, allegory followed a more religious path, which was to assume a larger role in Neoplatonism. Ultimately, Brisson explains how this embrace of myth was carried forward by Byzantine thinkers and artists throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance after the triumph of Chistianity, Brisson argues, myths no longer had to agree with just history and philosophy but the dogmas of the Church as well. (shrink)
Where exactly should we place Adam Smith in the cannon of classicalliberalism? Smith's advocacy of free market economics and defence of religious liberty in The Wealth of Nations suffice for including him somewhere in that tradition.1 The nature and extent of Smith's liberalism, however, remain up for debate. One recent trend has been to characterise Smith as a proponent of social liberalism. This includes those like Stephen Darwall, Samuel Fleischacker and Charles Griswold, who have drawn (...) attention to a kind of descriptive moral egalitarianism in Smith.2 Humans, Smith seems to hold, are naturally disposed to valuing one another under a conception of equality. But that is not all these scholars suggest. They have also hinted at something more contentious ? the idea that, according to Smith, we value one another in a way resonant with contemporary notions of human dignity, conceived as the inherent value of persons grounding certain rights to, or restrictions on, treatment by others.3 In saying so, these scholars have hit upon something remarkable. However, I also think their arguments in this respect are both indirect and incomplete. Consequently, the full import of Smith's view remains obscure. This essay aims to bring some clarity. 1I intend this historically. I grant there are good reasons to be sceptical about the ultimate fate of liberty in capitalist society (e.g. Marxist reasons and reasons based on various postmodern critiques of enlightenment ideology). Also, the designation ?free market? should be understood loosely, as most scholars now agree it is a mistake to identify Smith with thoroughgoing laissez-faire economics. 2Darwall, S., ?Sympathetic Liberalism: Recent Work on Adam Smith?, Philosophy Fleischacker, S., A Third Concept of Liberty (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999) and On Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004); and Griswold, C., Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Other major commentators holding some version of this view might include Raphael, D. D. The Impartial Spectator (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007) and Vivienne Brown, Adam Smith's Discourse: Canonicity, Commerce and Conscience (London: Routledge, 1994). 3See e.g. Fleischacker (2004), 205; Darwall at 142, 156 and Griswold at 235?239. However, one must read Fleischacker carefully, for he also uses the adjectival ?dignified? to express Smith's concern with what is ?honourable? or ?respectable? about persons, which use does not obviously match up with the notion of inherent value (see e.g. p. 207). Darwall's argument includes by far the most explicit discussion of ?dignity? as I've defined it. But as Darwall's article is ostensibly a book review (albeit a substantive one that addresses three books at once, including Griswold's), it cannot be called a direct inquiry. Griswold never explicitly puts his interpretation in terms of ?dignity?, but that is clearly what he is after. Thus Darwall also reads him that way. (shrink)
This essay examines the far-reaching attack on individualism and property rights which characterized the Progressive Era of the early twentieth century. Scholars and political figures associated with Progressivism criticized the individualist values of classicalliberalism and rejected the traditional notion of limited government espoused by the framers of the Constitution. They expressed great confidence in regulatory agencies, staffed by experts, to effectuate policy. Progressives paved the way for the later triumph of statist ideology with the New Deal in (...) the 1930s. (shrink)