Liberal neutrality or liberal tolerance?

Law and Philosophy 16 (5):529 - 559 (1997)
Abstract
This paper explores tensions in Ronald Dworkin's liberal theory (and liberalism more generally) about the appropriate relationship of the state to the different conceptions of the good that may be adopted by its citizens. Liberal theory generally supposes that the state must exhibit a kind of impartiality to different conceptions of the good. This impartiality is often thought to be captured by an anti-perfectionist ideal of liberal neutrality. But neutrality is often criticized as an ideal that lacks adequate theoretical support and is difficult to reconcile with liberalism's commitment to government support of various elements of a community's culture. Nonetheless, Dworkin has tried to explain systematically how his egalitarian brand of liberalism can explain the appropriateness of a particular variety of neutrality. I argue, however, that Dworkin's account of the relationship between liberalism and the good is ambiguous. I suggest that an ideal of tolerance which embraces a mild form of perfectionism fits better with the egalitarian foundations of Dworkin's liberalism than neutrality. Moreover, tolerance is an ideal through which familiar tensions about the liberal state's relationship to the good may be resolved.
Keywords Law   Logic   Philosophy of Law   Law Theory/Law Philosophy   Political Science   Social Issues
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/3505019
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,848
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
91 ( #61,974 of 2,210,527 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #389,893 of 2,210,527 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature