The Resource A philosophy of restraint : justice and pluralism in the new theory of political liberalism, João Rosas

A philosophy of restraint : justice and pluralism in the new theory of political liberalism, João Rosas

Label
A philosophy of restraint : justice and pluralism in the new theory of political liberalism
Title
A philosophy of restraint
Title remainder
justice and pluralism in the new theory of political liberalism
Statement of responsibility
João Rosas
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
In this dissertation I analyse and criticise the recent theory of political liberalism of John Rawls and Charles Larmore. Furthermore, I sketch an alternative solution to the challenge which this theory confronts. The main challenge in the political liberalism of Rawls and Larmore is the difficult reconciliation between, on the one hand, the value of justice seen as the ultimate and substantive standard for the assessment of institutions and policies and, on the other hand, the pervasive pluralism of ideas of the good life and their supporting world views, in contemporary liberal societies. Political liberalism reconciles these by considering that principles of justice can be consensual in a pluralist society because they are political, not comprehensive (according to Rawls) or neutral in their justifications (according to Larmore). In this way, contentious moralities and philosophies, whether religious or not, are precluded from political justification. I show the unfeasibility of this justificatory restraint both at the level of the idea of justice and in the account of pluralism provided by the advocates of political liberalism. Their implicit theories of pluralism require philosophical fallibilism in order to make sense. Moreover, the hidden perfectionism in the justification of the principles of justice advanced by political liberals goes hand in hand with their pluralist views. These 'contaminations', so to speak, of supposedly political principles by controversial epistemological and moral doctrines show the internal defects of political liberalism. Furthermore, political liberalism cannot keep its promise of consensus because the idea of justice is itself plural. This is due, among other factors, to the influence of personal experiences and the weight of different considerations (i.e., the burdens of reason) not only in the formation of people's ideas of the good and world views but also in the process of conceptualizing justice. Once one recognizes the relevance of the pluralism of the former, one must also admit the equal relevance of the pluralism of the latter. Political liberals were certainly right in facing the challenge of pluralism. However, political liberalism is unsuccessful in the avoidance of contaminations and it is also useless when it no longer provides the hope of a consensus that would strengthen the cause of justice amidst pluralism. If one perseveres to find a solution to the initial challenge, one must abandon the reconciliation proposed by political liberalism and re-interpret what it means to use restraint in a pluralist society. Instead of restraint as philosophical avoidance, my alternative proposal is a view of restraint as responsibility. Some specific institutions in liberal societies allow for the rule of conflict through suffrage. Responsibility amounts to moral support for this set of institutions, although they are not just. However, convictions of justice must remain in place. I conclude that liberal arguments for justice should preserve the controversy of deep - or comprehensive, or non-neutral - convictions, while accepting responsibly the institutional limitations of this most important social virtue
Member of
Cataloging source
IT-FiEUI
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Rosas, João
Date time place
Defence date: 2 February 2001
Dissertation note
Thesis (Ph. D.)--European University Institute (SPS), 2001.
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
theses
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
European University Institute
Series statement
  • EUI PhD theses
  • EUI theses
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Liberalism
  • Political science
Label
A philosophy of restraint : justice and pluralism in the new theory of political liberalism, João Rosas
Link
http://hdl.handle.net/1814/8140
Instantiates
Publication
Note
Supervisor: Steven Lukes ; Co-supervisor: Jeremy Waldron
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 219-217)
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Control code
FIEb13906690
Dimensions
30 cm.
Extent
217 pages
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
n
System control number
(OCoLC)1038731921
Label
A philosophy of restraint : justice and pluralism in the new theory of political liberalism, João Rosas
Link
http://hdl.handle.net/1814/8140
Publication
Note
Supervisor: Steven Lukes ; Co-supervisor: Jeremy Waldron
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 219-217)
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Control code
FIEb13906690
Dimensions
30 cm.
Extent
217 pages
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
n
System control number
(OCoLC)1038731921

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