Doubt and commitment: Justice and skepticism in Judith Shklar's thought


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Commentary on Judith Shklar's skepticism has ranged from the claim that it was not the central characteristic of her thought to the argument that it seriously hobbled her thinking about justice. In fact Shklar's uniqueness as a thinker resides precisely in the fact that she combined a sweeping skepticism with a strong commitment to liberal justice. Skepticism interacted with her liberal moral commitments to inspire her account of injustice, without which her views about justice are impossible to grasp. Shklar's skepticism produced her laser-like focus on sources of injustice and oppression for the individual, whom she perceived to be potentially threatened no less by tribe, nation, family, or a democratic citizens' community than by the state itself. It produced not only her highly original insights into the inadequacy of all existing models of justice, but also her subtle yet concerted effort to render democracy safe for liberalism in political theory while at the same make liberalism more egalitarian
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DOI 10.1177/1474885114543571
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Judith N Shklar as Theorist of Political Obligation.William E. Scheuerman - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory.
The Unnoticed Monism of Judith Shklar’s Liberalism of Fear.Allyn Fives - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism.

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