Coercion, Stability, and Indoctrination in the Pejorative Sense

Jurisprudence 7 (3):540-556 (2016)
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John Rawls argued in A Theory of Justice that ‘justice as fairness … is likely to have greater stability than the traditional alternatives since it is more in line with the principles of moral psychology'. In support, he presented a psychology of moral development that was informed by a comprehensive liberalism. In Political Liberalism, Rawls confessed that the argument was 'unrealistic and must be recast'. Rawls, however, never provided a psychology of moral development informed by a specifically political liberalism, leaving it at a disadvantage with respect to comprehensive liberalism itself. I argue that no coherent account is available. But, because Rawls’s Liberal Principle of Legitimacy, along with its implied stricture against 'indoctrination in the pejorative sense', is a creature of ideal rather than non-ideal theory, the deficiency is far less significant than many would assume.



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William A. Edmundson
Georgia State University

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Introduction.Martha C. Nussbaum - 1990 - Apeiron 23 (4):1-6.

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