Norms of Liberty: A Perfectionist Basis for Non-Perfectionist Politics

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How can we establish a political/legal order that in principle does not require the human flourishing of any person or group to be given structured preference over that of any other? Addressing this question as the central problem of political philosophy, Norms of Liberty offers a new conceptual foundation for political liberalism that takes protecting liberty, understood in terms of individual negative rights, as the primary aim of the political/legal order.

Rasmussen and Den Uyl argue for construing individual rights as metanormative principles, directly tied to politics, that are used to establish the political/ legal conditions under which full moral conduct can take place. These they distinguish from normative principles, used to provide guidance for moral conduct within the ambit of normative ethics. This crucial distinction allows them to develop liberalism as a metanormative theory, not a guide for moral conduct. The moral universe need not be minimized or morality grounded in sentiment or contracts to support liberalism, they show. Rather, liberalism can be supported, and many of its internal tensions avoided, with an ethical framework of Aristotelian inspiration—one that understands human flourishing to be an objective, inclusive, individualized, agent-relative, social, and self-directed activity.

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About the Author:

Douglas B. Rasmussen is Professor of Philosophy at St. John's University in New York City.

Douglas J. Den Uyl is Vice President of Educational Programs at Liberty Fund in Indianapolis.

Review:

"In sum, Norms of Liberty is a significant addition to the philosophical literature of liberty, and it will surely be an influential work for years to come." --The Independent Review

"Rasmussen and Den Uyl have produced a work of political philosophy that no one who wishes to discuss liberalism can afford to bypass."  
--Philosophy of the Social Sciences

"Norms of Liberty . . . provides a seminal contribution to liberal political thought that will be of significant interest to Thomists as well as other classically trained Aristotelians and natural law theorists."
--The Thomist

"The book gives a very interesting and well articulated defence of liberalism."
--Political Studies Review
"The book is well written, drawing on a wide range of contemporary literature. Its controversial claims will be of keen interest to graduate students and scholars, and accessible to advanced undergraduates."
--Choice

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Book Description Pennsylvania State University Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 464 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.0in. x 0.8in.How can we establish a politicallegal order that in principle does not require the human flourishing of any person or group to be given structured preference over that of any other Addressing this question as the central problem of political philosophy, Norms of Liberty offers a new conceptual foundation for political liberalism that takes protecting liberty, understood in terms of individual negative rights, as the primary aim of the politicallegal order. Rasmussen and Den Uyl argue for construing individual rights as metanormative principles, directly tied to politics, that are used to establish the political legal conditions under which full moral conduct can take place. These they distinguish from normative principles, used to provide guidance for moral conduct within the ambit of normative ethics. This crucial distinction allows them to develop liberalism as a metanormative theory, not a guide for moral conduct. The moral universe need not be minimized or morality grounded in sentiment or contracts to support liberalism, they show. Rather, liberalism can be supported, and many of its internal tensions avoided, with an ethical framework of Aristotelian inspirationone that understands human flourishing to be an objective, inclusive, individualized, agent-relative, social, and self-directed activity. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780271027012

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