Prophylactic Neutrality, Oppression, and the Reverse Pascal's Wager

Ethical Perspectives 19 (3):527-535 (2012)
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In Beyond Neutrality, George Sher criticises the idea that state neutrality between competing conceptions of the good helps protect society from oppression. While he is correct that some governments are non-neutral without being oppressive, I argue that those governments may be neutral at the core of their foundations. The possibility of non-neutrality leading to oppression is further explored; some conceptions of the good would favour oppression while others would not. While it is possible that a non-neutral state may avoid oppression, it is argued that the risks are so great that it is better to bet on government being neutral, thereby minimizing the possibility of oppression.



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Simon R. Clarke
Asian University for Women

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References found in this work

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Liberalism Without Perfection.Jonathan Quong - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.
The morality of freedom.J. Raz - 1988 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (1):108-109.

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