Social Theory and Practice 43 (1):79-106 (2017)

Paul Billingham
Oxford University
Debates between political liberals and liberal perfectionists have been reinvigorated by Jonathan Quong’s Liberalism Without Perfection. In this paper I argue that certain forms of perfectionism can rebut or evade Quong’s three central objections – that perfectionism is manipulative, paternalistic, and illegitimate. I then argue that perfectionists can defend an ‘internal conception’ of perfectionism, parallel in structure to Quong’s ’internal conception’ of political liberalism, but with a different conception of the justificatory constituency. None of Quong’s arguments show that his view should be preferred to this perfectionist internal conception. It can thus equally claim to achieve ‘justification to all reasonable citizens’.
Keywords Political liberalism  Liberal perfectionism  Jonathan Quong  Internal conception  Legitimacy  Paternalism
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ISBN(s) 0037-802X
DOI 10.5840/soctheorpract20174314
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References found in this work BETA

Liberalism Without Perfection.Jonathan Quong - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Justification and Legitimacy.A. John Simmons - 1999 - Ethics 109 (4):739-771.
Legitimacy, Unanimity, and Perfectionism.Joseph Chan - 2000 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 29 (1):5-42.
The Problem of Paternal Motives.Chris Mills - 2013 - Utilitas 25 (4):446-462.
In Defence of Comprehensive Liberalism.Ben Colburn - 2012 - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 2 (1):17-29.

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Citations of this work BETA

In Public Reason, Diversity Trumps Coherence.Kevin Vallier & Ryan Muldoon - 2021 - Journal of Political Philosophy 29 (2):211-230.
Towards a More Plural Political Theory of Pluralism.Corrado Fumagalli - 2020 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 47 (10):1154-1175.

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