Non-domination as a moral ideal

Christian Nadeau
Université de Montréal
In this article, I wish to show the importance of the consequentialist method for the realisation of the ideal of non-domination. If, as stated by Philip Pettit, consequentialist ethics helps to better conceive republican political institutions, we then have to see how the fundamental principles of republican liberty can meet the norms traditionally associated with consequentialism. After a brief presentation of consequentialism and republican liberty (as Pettit defines it), I criticize the idea that liberty as non-domination could be included in a bundle of goods that we seek to maximize. Next, I argue that we should reject the maximization of liberty as non-domination when this concept is considered as an absolute. Finally, I explore the idea of liberty as a condition for other goods, where liberty is still taken in the republican sense. These three theses are all rejected by demonstrating that the maximization of republican liberty is not really the maximization of liberty itself, but the maximization of protections granted to the individuals with the aim of defending their liberty
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DOI 10.1080/13698230510001702703
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