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Justification and Psychology in Liberal Pluralism: A Reply to Zakaras

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2013

Extract

It is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to respond to Alex Zakaras's thoughtful and stimulating article. Although Zakaras takes my work (together with that of William Galston) as a critical target, much of what he says is common ground between us. That includes his basic understanding of value pluralism, his evident support for that idea, and his broadly liberal approach to politics. Moreover, I think that he makes a significant contribution by drawing attention to the relation between pluralism and fallibility, and by focusing on Isaiah Berlin's treatment of Mill in that connection. Zakaras is right that Berlin's essay on Mill has not until now been carefully examined as a resource for the debate about the way pluralism relates to liberalism, and his suggestions about what the essay may tell us in that regard are valuable.

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Copyright © University of Notre Dame 2013 

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References

1 Nor shall I pursue the question whether Berlin intends to justify liberalism on the basis of pluralism. The evidence for and against that proposition is considered in Crowder, George, Isaiah Berlin: Liberty and Pluralism (Cambridge: Polity, 2004), 142–43Google Scholar.

2 The same argument is found in Kekes, John, Against Liberalism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997)Google Scholar, and Neal, Patrick, “The Path Between Value Pluralism and Liberal Political Order: Questioning the Connection,” San Diego Law Review 46, no. 4 (2009): 880Google Scholar.

3 Crowder, George, Liberalism and Value Pluralism (London: Continuum, 2002), chap. 6Google Scholar; Crowder, Isaiah Berlin, 156–59.

4 Another argument borrowed from Neal, “The Path Between,” 874–88.

5 Nussbaum, Martha, Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Nussbaum, Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011)Google Scholar.

6 This psychology thesis has been advanced before. For an earlier discussion see Crowder, George, “Value Pluralism and Liberalism: Berlin and Beyond,” in The One and the Many: Reading Isaiah Berlin, ed. Crowder, George and Hardy, Henry (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2007), 211–12Google Scholar.

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