Foundations of Liberalism

Foundations of Liberalism

Written by: Margaret Moore

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publish Date: 1993
  • ISBN-10: 9780198273851
  • ebook-foundations-of-liberalism.pdf
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Book Summary

This book is an original critique of contemporary liberal theories of justice, focusing on the problem of how to relate the personal point of view of the individual to the impartial perspective of justice. Margaret Moore's examination of prominent contemporary arguments for liberal justice reveals that individualist theories are subject to two serious difficulties: the motivation problem and the integrity problem. Individualists cannot explain why the individual should be motivated to act in accordance with the dictates of liberal justice, and - related to this - offer radically incoherent accounts of the person. Revisionist liberal attempts to ground liberalism in contextual and perfectionist terms offer more defensible foundations, but Dr Moore argues that such theories do not support liberal political principles. She concludes by sketching a historical and concrete approach to political and ethical theorizing which reformulates the relation between self-interest and morality, and is not subject to the problems that beset liberal individualist theories of justice. Her book advances the debate between communitarians and liberals about the kind of moral foundation which a liberal society requires.

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