The Asymmetry Objection Rides Again: On the Nature and Significance of Justificatory Disagreement

Journal of Applied Philosophy 32 (2):133-146 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Political liberalism offers perhaps the most developed and dominant account of justice and legitimacy in the face of disagreement among citizens. A prominent objection states that the view arbitrarily treats differently disagreement about the good, such as on what makes for a good life, and disagreement about justice. In the presence of reasonable disagreement about the good, political liberals argue that the state must be neutral, but they do not suggest a similar response given reasonable disagreement about what justice requires. A leading political liberal, Jonathan Quong, has recently offered a rebuttal to this asymmetry objection. His reply rests on an innovative distinction between justificatory and foundational disagreement. Quong claims that disagreements about justice in a well ordered society are justificatory while disagreements about the good are foundational, and suggests that this fact blocks the asymmetry objection. We assess Quong's solution and argue that it fails to justify legitimate state action on matters of justice but not the good. We conclude that the asymmetry objection continues to undermine political liberalism



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 79,857

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Disagreement, asymmetry, and liberal legitimacy.Jonathan Quong - 2005 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 4 (3):301-330.
The asymmetry objection to political liberalism: evaluation of a defence.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2018 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 25 (1):26-32.
Waldron on law and disagreement.Thomas Christiano - 2000 - Law and Philosophy 19 (4):513-543.
Jeremy Waldron on law and disagreement.David Estlund - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 99 (1):111-128.
Disagreement and Legitimacy.Zoltan Miklosi & Andres Moles - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (1):1-8.
Epistemic Foundations of Political Liberalism.Fabienne Peter - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (5):598-620.
Relativism and disagreement.John MacFarlane - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):17-31.
No Deep Disagreement for New Relativists.Ragnar Francén - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (1):19--37.
Theoretical Disagreement and the Semantic Sting.Dale Smith - 2010 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 30 (4):635-661.
Justice: Metaphysical, After All? [REVIEW]Ryan W. Davis - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):207-222.
Overlapping Consensus.Remi Odedoyin - 2000 - Journal of Philosophical Research 25:323-343.
Epistemic contextualism defended.Robin McKenna - 2015 - Synthese 192 (2):363-383.


Added to PP

64 (#197,083)

6 months
3 (#242,557)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Zofia Stemplowska
University of Warwick

Citations of this work

A Framework for Analyzing Public Reason Theories.Paul Billingham & Anthony Taylor - 2022 - European Journal of Political Theory 21 (4).
Civic equality as a democratic basis for public reason.Henrik D. Kugelberg - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.
Three cheers for liberal modesty.Cécile Laborde - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (1):119-135.
Three cheers for liberal modesty.Cécile Laborde - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (1):119-135.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references