Political liberalism without scepticism

Ratio 20 (3):320–340 (2007)
Political liberalism famously requires that fundamental political matters should not be decided by reference to any controversial moral, religious or philosophical doctrines over which reasonable people disagree. This means we, as citizens, must abstain from relying on what we believe to be the whole truth when debating or voting on fundamental political matters. Many critics of political liberalism contend that this requirement to abstain from relying on our views about the good life commits political liberalism to a kind of scepticism: we should abstain from relying on our views about the good life because we should be uncertain about the truth of those views. But this kind of scepticism is itself a controversial epistemic position which many reasonable people reject, thus apparently making political liberalism internally incoherent. This is the sceptical critique of political liberalism. This paper shows the sceptical critique to be false. The paper argues that the epistemic restraint required of citizens in political liberalism does not assume or imply any version of scepticism about our ability to know the good life. Liberal neutrality is motivated not by scepticism about our own views, but rather by a desire to justify fundamental political principles to others
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2007.00368.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,433
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
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

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

63 ( #77,472 of 1,924,986 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #308,471 of 1,924,986 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.