New Approaches to Classical Liberalism

Rationality, Markets and Morals 3:22-50 (2012)
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Abstract

This article focuses on the following three novel and original philosophical approaches to classical liberalism: 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 classical liberalism 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.

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