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After MarriageRethinking Marital Relationships$
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Elizabeth Brake

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190205072

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190205072.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Is Civil Marriage Illiberal?

Is Civil Marriage Illiberal?

(p.29) 2 Is Civil Marriage Illiberal?
After Marriage

Ralph Wedgwood

Oxford University Press

Some philosophers have suspected that the institution of civil marriage, in anything like its current form, is inconsistent with political liberalism—that is, with the principle that whenever the state exercises its coercive power, its exercise of that power must be justifiable from the standpoint of public reason, a standpoint that can be shared by all reasonable citizens, regardless of the comprehensive religious or philosophical doctrines that they accept. Indeed, some philosophers—most notably, Elizabeth Brake—have recently argued on the basis of such suspicions that the institution of civil marriage should be radically transformed or “minimized.” This chapter explains why these suspicions about marriage, and the arguments for radically reforming or “minimizing” marriage, are mistaken.

Keywords:   marriage, same-sex marriage, political liberalism, family law, social meaning, polygamy, polyamory, communitarianism

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