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Liberalism beyond justice : citizens, society, and the boundaries of political theory
Tomasi, John, 1961-

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Publication Information:
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2001.
Physical Description:
xviii, 163 p.


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Book BILKUTUP0285914 JC574 .T66 2001 Central Campus Library

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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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xiii
Chapter 1 Political Liberalismp. 3
Motivational Foundationsp. 3
Neutrality of Effectp. 10
The Ethical Culture of Political Liberalismp. 12
Chapter 2 The Boundaries of Political Theoryp. 17
Alphabet Peoplep. 17
Two Kinds of Cultural Defeatersp. 20
Free Erosionp. 26
Liberal Theory and the Doctrine of Double Effectp. 33
Chapter 3 Liberal Nonpublic Reasonp. 40
The Limits of Justicep. 40
The Personal Uses of Public Reasonp. 42
The Machinery of Nonpublic Virtuep. 45
Answering the Uneasy Citizensp. 55
Chapter 4 Citizenship: Justice or Well-Being?p. 57
The Derivative Idealp. 57
From Civic Humanism to Political Liberalismp. 61
A Different Approachp. 67
Chapter 5 The Formative Projectp. 73
The Substantive Idealp. 73
Moral Development and Liberal Individuationp. 79
Rethinking Civic Educationp. 85
Back to Tennesseep. 91
The Tax-Flattening Principlep. 100
Mind the Gapp. 105
Chapter 6 High Liberalismp. 108
The Intuitive Argumentp. 108
Feudalism or Medievalism?p. 110
The Idea of Societyp. 114
The Original Position and Cost-Free Guaranteesp. 116
Liberalism beyond Justicep. 124
Conclusionp. 126
Notesp. 129
Bibliographyp. 151
Indexp. 161