Politics, Philosophy and Economics 19 (4):424-446 (2020)

Bouke de Vries
University of Zürich
In recent years, several theorists have defended a form of neutrality that seeks to equalise the benefits that state policies bestow upon citizens’ conceptions of the good life. For example, when state policies confer special benefits upon a conception that revolves around a particular culture, religion or type of sports, other cultures, religions or types of sports might be due compensation. This article argues that this kind of neutrality – which I refer to as ‘hands-on neutrality’ – cannot be vindicated, whether it takes a resourcist form or welfarist form. After explaining why states cannot simply avoid bestowing unequal advantages upon citizens’ conceptions of the good life, I identify several versions of hands-on neutrality and show that all of them fail to respect the moral equality of citizens. I conclude by showing that in cases where theories of hands-on neutrality have intuitive force, more plausible rival principles can account for our intuitions.
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DOI 10.1177/1470594x20924679
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Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Liberalism Without Perfection.Jonathan Quong - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
The morality of freedom.J. Raz - 1988 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (1):108-109.
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