Natural Law Liberalism

Natural Law Liberalism

by Christopher Wolfe
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521842786

ISBN-13: 9780521842785

Pub. Date: 08/31/2006

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Liberal political philosophy and natural law theory are not contradictory, but - properly understood - mutually reinforcing. Contemporary liberalism (as represented by Rawls, Guttman and Thompson, Dworkin, Raz, and Macedo) rejects natural law and seeks to diminish its historical contribution to the liberal political tradition, but it is only one, defective variant

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Overview

Liberal political philosophy and natural law theory are not contradictory, but - properly understood - mutually reinforcing. Contemporary liberalism (as represented by Rawls, Guttman and Thompson, Dworkin, Raz, and Macedo) rejects natural law and seeks to diminish its historical contribution to the liberal political tradition, but it is only one, defective variant of liberalism. A careful analysis of the history of liberalism, identifying its core principles, and a similar examination of classical natural law theory (as represented by Thomas Aquinas and his intellectual descendants), show that a natural law liberalism is possible and desirable. Natural law theory embraces the key principles of liberalism, and it also provides balance in resisting some of its problematic tendencies. Natural law liberalism is the soundest basis for American public philosophy, and it is a potentially more attractive and persuasive form of liberalism for nations that have tended to resist it.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521842785
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
08/31/2006
Pages:
268
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

1Contemporary liberal exclusionism I : John Rawls's antiperfectionist liberalism9
2Contemporary liberal exclusionism II : Rawls, Macedo, and "neutral" liberal public reason24
3Contemporary liberal exclusionism III : Gutmann and Thompson on "reciprocity"44
4Contemporary liberealism and autonomy I : Ronald Dworkin on paternalism57
5Contemporary liberalism and autonomy II : Joseph Raz on trust and citizenship82
6"Offensive liberalism" : Macedo and "liberal" education100
7Understanding liberealism : a broader vision131
8Understanding natural law152
9Liberalism and natural law185
10"Cashing out" natural law liberalism : the case of religious liberty217
11A natural law public philosophy248

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