The separateness of persons and liberal theory

Journal of Value Inquiry 42 (2):147-165 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The fact that persons are separate in some descriptive sense is relatively uncontroversial. But one of the distinctive ideas of contemporary liberal political philosophy is that the descriptive fact of our separateness is normatively momentous. John Rawls and Robert Nozick both take the separateness of persons to provide a foundation for their rejection of utilitarianism and for their own positive political theories. So why do their respective versions of liberalism look so different? This paper claims that the difference is based in Rawls' and Nozick's differing understandings of the morally significant aspects of personhood, and argues that respect for separateness is a value better suited to defend Nozickian libertarianism than Rawlsian liberalism.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,479

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
143 (#89,840)

6 months
4 (#185,765)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Matt Zwolinski
University of San Diego

References found in this work

Moral dilemmas and consistency.Ruth Barcan Marcus - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):121-136.
Personal Rights and Public Space.Thomas Nagel - 1995 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 24 (2):83-107.

Add more references