Critical Moral Liberalism: Theory and Practice

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Overview

In this important book, Jeffrey Reiman responds to recent assaults on liberal theory by proposing a 'critical moral liberalism.' It is liberal in maintaining the emphasis of classical liberalism on individual freedom, moral in adhering to a distinctive vision of the good life rather than professing neutrality, and critical in taking seriously the objection-raised by feminists and Marxists, among others-that liberal theories often serve as ideological cover for oppression of one group by others. Critical moral liberalism has a conception of ideology, and resources for testing the suspicion that arrangements that look free are really oppressive. Reiman sets forth the basic arguments for the liberal moral obligation to maximize people's ability to govern their own lives, and for the conception of the good life that goes with this. He considers and answers objections to the liberal project, and defends liberal conceptions of privacy, moral virtue, economic justice, and Constitutional interpretation. Reiman then takes up specific policy issues, among them abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, moral education, capital punishment, and threats to privacy from modern information technology. Critical Moral Liberalism will be of interest to scholars and students of ethics, social and political philosophy, political theory, and public policy.
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Editorial Reviews

Radical Philosophy
Reiman's final product is an important and stimulating work that adds fuel to the debates raging both within and over liberal theory.
— David Stevens
Giustificativo
This book challenges the presuppostion among professional philosophers. This striking re-evlaution of the acheivement of Descartes opens the hsitory of Western philosophy to radical reinterpretation.
Social Theory and Practice
Critical Moral Liberalism is an interesting book often insightful into the symptoms of some of liberalism's recent ills.

The practical questions Reiman covers demonstrade a wide range of intellectually tough issues that he addresses with thoughtful understanding and rigor. Those that think that 'liberalism' is dead do not mean by this word what Reiman means, and they will likely find their claim challenged by this newest contribution to the field of arguments.
— Kory P. Schaff, Loyola University, Chicago

The Philosophical Review
This is a terrific book.
Hugo A. Bedau
Friends of liberalism will be grateful to Jeffrey Reiman for his lucid and persuasive account . . . Skeptics and critics of liberalism must read this book be cause of the challenge it presents to their attempts to discredit liberalism. Rieman effectively shows that those very criticisms presuppose the principles of the critical moral liberalism he espouses.
George Sher
These essays are unified by the author's powerful and interesting vision of liberalism. Of special note is the large-spirited and resourceful way in which Reiman incorporates insights from feminist, Marxist, and post-modernist critics without abandoning a commitment to Enlightenment ideas.
Radical Philosophy - David Stevens
Reiman's final product is an important and stimulating work that adds fuel to the debates raging both within and over liberal theory.
Derek Allen
The essays that make up the chapters if this book are uniformly interesting, lucidly written, and well argued
Rosemarie Tong
Jeffrey Reiman has done what I thought was impossible. He has broadened and deepened traditional Western liberalism with feminist, multicultural, and postmodern critiques . . . he shows us how to use 'critical moral liberal' theory to provide promising new solutions to some of our oldest practical problems.
Social Theory and Practice - Kory P. Schaff
Critical Moral Liberalism is an interesting book often insightful into the symptoms of some of liberalism's recent ills.

The practical questions Reiman covers demonstrade a wide range of intellectually tough issues that he addresses with thoughtful understanding and rigor. Those that think that 'liberalism' is dead do not mean by this word what Reiman means, and they will likely find their claim challenged by this newest contribution to the field of arguments.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Reiman is William Fraser McDowell Professor of philosophy at American University and the author of The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Acknowledgments Chapter 3 Introduction: Critical Moral Liberalism, an Overview Part 4 Part I: Theory Chapter 5 Liberalism, Feminism, and Multiculturalism: The Ironic Destiny of Western Philosophy Chapter 6 Postmodern Argumentation and Post-postmodern Liberalism, with Comments on Levinas, Habermas, and Rawls Chapter 7 Drug Addiction, Liberal Virtue, and Moral Responsibility Chapter 8 The Labor Theory of the Difference Principle Chapter 9 The Constitution, Rights, and the Conditions of Legitimacy Part 10 Part II: Practice Chapter 11 Privacy, Intimacy, and Personhood Chapter 12 Driving to the Panopticon: A Philosophical Exploration of the Risks to Privacy Posed by the Information Technology of the Future Chapter 13 Abortion, Infanticide, and the Asymmetric Value of Human Life Chapter 14 On euthanasia and Health Care Chapter 15 Is Police Discretion Justified in a Free Society? Justice, Civilization, and the Death Penalty Chapter 16 Index
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