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Liberal Pluralism: A Reply to Talisse

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Abstract:

Liberal pluralism is a comprehensive account and justification of liberal democracy that rests on three premises: an account of the structure of morality (value pluralism); an account of the structure of political life (political pluralism); and an account of action oriented toward a conception of the good (expressive liberty). In a critique, Robert Talisse contends that no coherent path can lead from value pluralism to the justification of liberalism. The only coherent options are to: (a) affirm value pluralism while denying the general validity of liberalism; (b) offer a general justification of liberalism based on non-pluralist premises; or (c) acknowledge that the justification of liberalism can only be ‘political’ (in Rawls's sense) rather than comprehensive. In response, I defend the coherence of a justification of liberalism that incorporates value pluralism as a key premise.Contemporary Political Theory (2004) 3, 140–147. doi:10.1057/palgrave.cpt.9300148

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.cpt.9300148

Affiliations: 1School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland, Van Munching Hall, College Park, USA., Email: bgalston@umd.edu

Publication date: 2004-08-01

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