Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The morality of political liberalism

Fernando de los Santos Menéndez


the paper discusses two ways to understand political liberalism. On the one hand, political liberalism may rely on the existence of an overlapping consensus among all reasonable comprehensive views present in our society. On the other hand, we may ground political liberalism on the moral value of equal respect for everyone. The dilemma between a factual identification of an overlapping consensus and a normative appeal to moral values arises at two levels. First, when we fill the content of our political conception of justice. And second, when we require impartiality to fill that content. In the former case, we may argue for a particular conception of justice through normative argument with moral premises, or our political conception of justice might be the area where all reasona-ble comprehensive views overlap. Similarly, we require that citizens offer impartial public reasons because this is what people holding different comprehensive views do think ap-propriate, or because they should consider it so. The author argues that we should define our political conception of justice through impartial normative argument, and that we should ground the demand of impartiality on the moral value of equal respect.

Text complet: PDF (English)