Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality

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Contemporary liberal thinkers commonly suppose that there is something in principle unjust about the legal prohibition of putatively victimless crimes. Here Robert P. George defends the traditional justification of morals legislation against criticisms advanced by leading liberal theorists. He argues that such legislation can play a legitimate role in maintaining a moral environment conducive to virtue and inhospitable to at least some forms of vice. Among the liberal critics of morals legislation whose views ...
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Overview


Contemporary liberal thinkers commonly suppose that there is something in principle unjust about the legal prohibition of putatively victimless crimes. Here Robert P. George defends the traditional justification of morals legislation against criticisms advanced by leading liberal theorists. He argues that such legislation can play a legitimate role in maintaining a moral environment conducive to virtue and inhospitable to at least some forms of vice. Among the liberal critics of morals legislation whose views George considers are Ronald Dworkin, Jeremy Waldron, David A.J. Richards, and Joseph Raz. He also considers the influential modern justification for morals legislation offered by Patrick Devlin as an alternative to the traditional approach. George closes with a sketch of a "pluralistic perfectionist" theory of civil liberties and public morality, showing that it is fully compatible with a defense of morals legislation. Making Men Moral will interest legal scholars and political theorists as well as theologians and philosophers focusing on questions of social justice and political morality.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"George is an accomplished controversialist; his arguments are always clear, sophisticated, and highly interesting. Making Men Moral deserves the attention of moral, political, and legal theorists."--Choice

"Making Men Moral is a strong defense of morals laws against arguments critical of traditional jurisprudence by contemporary liberal legal scholars."--Modern Age

"...contains much erudition and wisdom worthy of study and reflection."--Modern Age

"There is much to praise in George's book."--Ethics

"This book is clear, incisive, and well argued. I highly recommend it."The Review of Metaphysics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198254249
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/21/1993
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.69 (w) x 8.81 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert P. George, Associate Professor of Politics, Princeton University

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Central Tradition: Its Value and Limits 19
2 Social Cohesion and the Legal Enforcement of Morals: A Reconsideration of the Hart-Devlin Debate 48
3 Individual Rights and Collective Interests: Dworkin on 'Equal Concern and Respect' 83
4 Taking Rights Seriously: Waldron on 'The Right To Do Wrong' 110
5 Anti-Perfectionism and Autonomy: Rawls and Richards on Neutrality and the Harm Principle 129
6 Pluralistic Perfectionism and Autonomy: Raz on 'The Proper Way to Enforce Morality' 161
7 Toward a Pluralistic Perfectionist Theory of Civil Liberties 189
List of Works Cited 230
Index 235
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