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

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Synopsis:

Liberal regimes shape the ethical outlook of their citizens, and influence their most personal commitments over time. This work argues that these circumstances raise questions such as: is liberalism as successful as it hopes, in avoiding the imposition of a single ethical doctrine?

Synopsis:

"This is a daring, inventive, and engagingly written book. Tomasi escapes the current liberal fixation with justice and legitimacy by asking searching questions about how truly good lives can be led under a just liberal regime. His answers will be controversial, but they command our attention because they test the very limits of the liberal tradition."--Eamonn Callan, Stanford University

"This book raises important questions about the relation between justice and a fuller account of what gives meaning and value to life. Tomasi's argument asks liberals to become aware of the consequences of politics guided by liberal justice for different ways of life, and when possible to take responsibility for those consequences. This book challenges widely held understandings of liberalism and is sure to spark a fruitful debate."--William A. Galston, Maryland School of Public Affairs

"Liberalism, as Tomasi conceives it, holds that moral questions are not always questions of justice, and moral answers need not and sometimes cannot take the form of building further guarantees into our institutions of political governance. For the sake of liberalism, Tomasi argues, we need to leave High Liberalism behind. A truly unsettling book, but also an admirable and much-needed book."--David Schmidtz, University of Arizona

Synopsis:

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.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [151]-159) and index.

About the Author

John Tomasi is Associate Professor of Political Science at Brown University. His work has appeared in many leading journals, including Political Theory, Ethics, and The Journal of Philosophy.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xiii

CHAPTER ONE Political Liberalism 3

Motivational Foundations 3

Neutrality of Effect 10

The Ethical Culture of Political Liberalism 12

CHAPTER TWO The Boundaries of Political Theory 17

Alphabet People 17

Two Kinds of Cultural Defeaters 20

Free Erosion 26

Liberal Theory and the Doctrine of Double Effect 33

CHAPTER THREE Liberal Nonpublic Reason 40

The Limits of Justice 40

The Personal Uses of Public Reason 42

The Machinery of Nonpublic Virtue 45

Answering the Uneasy Citizens 55

CHAPTER FOUR Citizenship: Justice or Well-Being? 57

The Derivative Ideal 57

From Civic Humanism to Political Liberalism 61

A Different Approach 67

CHAPTER FIVE The Formative Project 73

The Substantive Ideal 73

Moral Development and Liberal Individuation 79

Rethinking Civic Education 85

Back to Tennessee 91

The Tax-Flattening Principle 100

Mind the Gap 105

CHAPTER SIX

High Liberalism 108

The Intuitive Argument 108

Feudalism or Medievalism? 110

The Idea of Society 114

The Original Position and Cost-Free Guarantees 116

Liberalism beyond Justice 124

CONCLUSION 126

Notes 129

Bibliography 151

Index 161

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691049694
Author:
Tomasi, John
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton, N.J.
Subject:
General
Subject:
History & Theory
Subject:
Liberalism
Subject:
Social justice
Subject:
History & Theory - General
Subject:
Political philosophy
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
Political Philoso
Subject:
phy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
IMS-14
Publication Date:
January 2001
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 oz

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History and Social Science » Politics » General

Liberalism Beyond Justice: Citizens, Society, and the Boundaries of Political Theory New Trade Paper
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Product details 208 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691049694 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Liberal regimes shape the ethical outlook of their citizens, and influence their most personal commitments over time. This work argues that these circumstances raise questions such as: is liberalism as successful as it hopes, in avoiding the imposition of a single ethical doctrine?
"Synopsis" by , "This is a daring, inventive, and engagingly written book. Tomasi escapes the current liberal fixation with justice and legitimacy by asking searching questions about how truly good lives can be led under a just liberal regime. His answers will be controversial, but they command our attention because they test the very limits of the liberal tradition."--Eamonn Callan, Stanford University

"This book raises important questions about the relation between justice and a fuller account of what gives meaning and value to life. Tomasi's argument asks liberals to become aware of the consequences of politics guided by liberal justice for different ways of life, and when possible to take responsibility for those consequences. This book challenges widely held understandings of liberalism and is sure to spark a fruitful debate."--William A. Galston, Maryland School of Public Affairs

"Liberalism, as Tomasi conceives it, holds that moral questions are not always questions of justice, and moral answers need not and sometimes cannot take the form of building further guarantees into our institutions of political governance. For the sake of liberalism, Tomasi argues, we need to leave High Liberalism behind. A truly unsettling book, but also an admirable and much-needed book."--David Schmidtz, University of Arizona

"Synopsis" by , 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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