The Cambridge Companion to Liberalism (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)
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The political philosophy of liberalism was first formulated during the Enlightenment in response to the growth of the modern nation-state and its authority and power over the individuals living within its boundaries. Liberalism is now the dominant ideology in the Western world, but it covers a broad swathe of different (and sometimes rival) ideas and traditions and its essential features can be hard to define. The Cambridge Companion to Liberalism offers a rich and accessible exploration of liberalism as a tradition of political thought. It includes chapters on the historical development of liberalism, its normative foundations, and its core philosophical concepts, as well as a survey of liberal approaches and responses to a range of important topics including freedom, equality, toleration, religion, and nationalism. The volume will be valuable for students and scholars in political philosophy, political theory, and the history of political thought.
to as cultural integration. Multiculturalism in the minimalist form I am referring to here involves the denial of cultural integration, but the acceptance of measures of social integration. With this definition in hand, we are in a better position to appreciate the contribution that even a Rawlsian liberal regime can make to multiculturalism. As is accepted by all, an orthodox liberalism provides citizens with invaluable tools with which to pursue their lives as cultural beings, inasmuch as it
the state has no business involving itself in any sorts of collective projects at all: its only job is to enforce our rights. To the extent that citizens hold personal conceptions of the good, it is entirely up to them to try to realize those conceptions through their own activities in the private sphere, provided of course that they do not violate the rights of others in the process.36 Two other books, written by legal scholars, further illustrate this tendency: Ronald Dworkin’s Taking Rights
persons are creatures whose attitudes are sensitive and responsive to their judgments about reasons, we have good reason to recognize this as a fundamental quality that should shape the conditions under which we live with others. If, as also seems natural, we see good reason to live alongside others, then we have good reason to want such a social life to be one we find mutually acceptable. All those motivated by this commitment to respect each person’s freedom and equality share an ideal of
that it be possible for all associates to endorse the terms of the political association that defends and protects them. The hypotheticalist view of authorization has become the favored view in recent discussions. Seeking to update Rousseau’s social contract, Rawls claimed that in a democratic society – a society in which the people rule themselves and possess “an equal share” of its “coercive political power” – “political power should be exercised, at least when constitutional essentials and
best understood as ones that either are or are not realized. Thus, if political autonomy generates a requirement that all citizens must be able to reasonably endorse the terms of their political association, then if this requirement were not fully satisfied, the value would not be realized. But, if political autonomy instead generates aspirational demands, then as its two conditions are more fully satisfied, it will be realized to a greater extent. Plainly, if political autonomy is characterized