Liberalism Beyond Justice: Citizens, Society, and the Boundaries of Political Theory

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Princeton University Press, 2001 - Political Science - 163 pages
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Liberal regimes shape the ethical outlooks of their citizens, relentlessly influencing their most personal commitments over time. On such issues as abortion, homosexuality, and women's rights, many religious Americans feel pulled between their personal beliefs and their need, as good citizens, to support individual rights. These circumstances, argues John Tomasi, raise new and pressing questions: Is liberalism as successful as it hopes in avoiding the imposition of a single ethical doctrine on all of society? If liberals cannot prevent the spillover of public values into nonpublic domains, how accommodating of diversity can a liberal regime actually be? To what degree can a liberal society be a home even to the people whose viewpoints it was formally designed to include?

To meet these questions, Tomasi argues, the boundaries of political liberal theorizing must be redrawn. Political liberalism involves more than an account of justified state coercion and the norms of democratic deliberation. Political liberalism also implies a distinctive account of nonpublic social life, one in which successful human lives must be built across the interface of personal and public values. Tomasi proposes a theory of liberal nonpublic life. To live up to their own deepest commitments to toleration and mutual respect, liberals, he insists, must now rethink their conceptions of social justice, civic education, and citizenship itself. The result is a fresh look at liberal theory and what it means for a liberal society to function well.

  

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Contents

Political Liberalism
3
Neutrality of Effect
10
The Ethical Culture of Political Liberalism
12
The Boundaries of Political Theory
17
Two Kinds of Cultural Defeaters
20
Free Erosion
26
Liberal Theory and the Doctrine of Double Effect
33
Liberal Nonpublic Reason
40
Moral Development and Liberal Individualism
79
Rethinking Civic Education
85
Back to Tennessee
91
The TaxFlattening Principle
100
Mind the Gap
105
High Liberalism
108
Feudalism or Medievalism?
110
The Idea of Society
114

The Personal Uses of Public Reason
42
The Machinery of Nonpublic Virtue
45
Answering the Uneasy Citizens
55
Citizenship Justice or WellBeing?
57
From Civic Humanism to Political Liberalism
61
A Different Approach
67
The Formative Project
73
The Original Position and CostFree Guarantees
116
Liberalism beyond Justice
124
CONCLUSION
126
Notes
129
Bibliography
151
Index
161
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About the author (2001)

John Tomasi is professor of political science and, by courtesy, of philosophy at Brown University. The founding director of Brown's Political Theory Project, Tomasi is also a research associate at the Freedom Center at the University of Arizona. He is the author of "Liberalism Beyond Justice" (Princeton).

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