Liberalism, Equality, and Cultural Oppression

Cambridge University Press (1998)
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Abstract

Liberal political philosophy emphasizes the benefits of membership in a cultural group and, in the opinion of this challenging book, neglects its harmful, oppressive aspects. Andrew Kernohan argues that an oppressive culture perpetuates inegalitarian social meanings and false assumptions about who is entitled to what. Cultural pollution harms fundamental interests in self-respect and knowledge of the good and is diffuse, insidious, and unnoticed. This cultural pollution is analogous to environmental pollution, and though difficult to detect, is nonetheless just as real. The book's conclusion is that a liberal state committed to the moral equality of persons must accept a strong role in reforming our cultural environment.

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Andrew Kernohan
Dalhousie University

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