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Relativism and the Foundations of Liberalism

Graham Long

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ISBN 10: 1845400046 / ISBN 13: 9781845400040
Published by Imprint Academic
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Paperback. 276 pages. Moral relativism is often regarded as both fatally flawed and incompatible with liberalism. This book aims to show why such criticism is misconceived. First, it argues that relativism provides a plausible account of moral justification. Drawing on the contemporary relativist and universalist analyses of thinkers such as Harman, Nagel and Habermas, it develops an alternative account of coherence relativism. Turning to liberalism, the book argues that moral relativism is not only consistent with the claims of contemporary liberalism, but underpins those claims. The political liberalism of Rawls and Barry is founded on an unacknowledged commitment to a relativist account of justification. In combining these two elements, the book offers a new understanding of relativism, and demonstrates its relevance for contemporary liberal thought. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Bookseller Inventory # 9781845400040

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Relativism and the Foundations of Liberalism

Publisher: Imprint Academic

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

Book Type: Paperback

About this title

Synopsis:

Moral relativism is often regarded as both fatally flawed and incompatible with liberalism. This book aims to show why such criticism is misconceived. First, it argues that relativism provides a plausible account of moral justification. Drawing on the contemporary relativist and universalist analyses of thinkers such as Harman, Nagel and Habermas, it develops an alternative account of 'coherence relativism'. Turning to liberalism, the book argues that moral relativism is not only consistent with the claims of contemporary liberalism, but underpins those claims. The political liberalism of Rawls and Barry is founded on an unacknowledged commitment to a relativist account of justification. In combining these two elements, the book offers a new understanding of relativism, and demonstrates its relevance for contemporary liberal thought.

Review:

""Through his taste for rigorous arguments, his seriousness of purpose, and his knowledge of the literature... he has succeeded in producing a book that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking."

(Nasser Behnegar Perspectives on Politics)

"Long's case is a very persuasive one indeed... much to be recommended."

(Gerard Hughes New Blackfriars)

"Relativism and the Foundations of Liberalism is a nuanced analysis of a key topic in contemporary political theory which challenges the conventional wisdom about relativism and about liberalism. Many political theorists reject relativism. In his book, Long argues that the objections to relativism can be met or accommodated and that a universalist position is unsustainable. Furthermore, he challenges conventional views about the foundations of liberalism, arguing that, contrary to the views of many liberals, relativism can form part of a persuasive justification of liberal principles. This is a meticulously argued and closely reasoned work on an issue of fundamental importance."

(Simon Caney, University of Birmingham)

"Long develops his arguments in an intelligent, detailed and thoughful manner."

(Richard North Res Publica)

"What Graham Long does in this book is to point out a meta-ethical relativism that provides a plausible account of mental justification, namely 'coherence relativism'. "

(Wim Vandekerckhove Ethical Perspectives)

"In this ambitious and challenging work, Graham Long defends a form of metaethical relativism as a plausible account of moral justification, and as not only compatible with contemporary liberalism, but underpinning it. These controversial claims are defended with considerable ingenuity and rigour, and woven into an original argument that should force those inclined to dismiss any relativism as obviously confused and implausible to think again. Accessibly written and informed by the latest scholarship in political theory and moral philosophy, Relativism and the Foundations of Liberalism is an important contribution to current debates about the basis of political liberalism, and of moral justification more generally."

(John Horton, Keele University)

"Long offers us a carefully crafted defense of metaethical relativism that is both meticulous and broad-ranging in its engagement with contemporary meta-ethical debates."

(David Thunder Review of Politics)

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