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Liberalism without Perfection

Jonathan Quong


A growing number of political philosophers favour a view called liberal perfectionism. According to this view, liberal political morality is characterized by a commitment to helping individuals lead autonomous lives and making other valuable choices. This book rejects this widely held view and offers an alternative account of liberal political morality. It argues that the liberal state should not be engaged in determining what constitutes a valuable or worthwhile life nor try to make sure that individuals live up to this ideal. Instead, it should remain neutral on the issue of the good life, a ... More

Keywords: autonomy, legitimacy, liberal neutrality, paternalism, liberal perfectionism, political liberalism, public justification, public reason, Rawls, Raz

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780199594870
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199594870.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jonathan Quong, author
Senior Lecturer in Political Philosophy, University of Manchester