POLITICAL LIBERALISM EXAM QS

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Undergraduate Jurisprudence (SECTION 3) Mind Map on POLITICAL LIBERALISM EXAM QS, created by yassinr on 05/10/2014.

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Created by yassinr over 5 years ago
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POLITICAL LIBERALISM EXAM QS
1 2013: 'In "Political Liberalism" John Rawls tries to steer clear of comprehensive moral and metaphysical doctrines as justifications of the state and law. This, however, comes at a price. Now his theory of the state and law is so embedded in actual contexts that it looks very much like a Hobbesian rational compromise' Discuss.
1.1 Recasting as political, rationale behind this, and how/whether this is damaging to the theory of state and law. How does it compare to Hobbes?
1.2 c.f. FREEMAN- Rawl's conception of OVERLAPPING CONSENSUS means that everyone accepts LIBERAL CONCEPTIONS OF JUSTICE not as a second-best choice, but because this liberal conception is in AGREEMENT with their own moral comprehensive doctrines or intrinsic values. NOT COMPROMISING. First choice.
1.2.1 c.f. FREEMAN: CONTRAST HOBBES: way that democracy works- no one is entirely satisfied, but ADEQUATE so far as all are concerned. (modus vivendi- CONSENSUS)
1.2.1.1 so, although both HOBBES and RAWLS argue that their conceptions (original convergence, overlapping consensus) are the BEST OPTIONS, in Hobbes' conception, citizens are having to settle for the social contract agreement because it is simply BETTER than what they have, but not necessary the BEST of what they, as an individual could have. Whereas RAWLS' O.C. argues that EVERYONE (that is, every REASONABLE person) gets their BEST indviidual option because, for different reasons, the liberal principles of justice are COMPATIBLE with their own comprehensive moral doctrines/moral views
1.3 Re: REFRAMING PUBLIC REASON as GUIDANCE for APPLYING PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE, as opposed to the idea of public reason being a part of the narrow notion of JUSTICE AS FAIRNESS. Instead of justice as fairness, And, as ALTERNATIVE ROUTE, RAWLS makes theory BROADER by saying that PUBLIC REASON is a requirement of POLITICAL LEGITIMACY. So, can apply to a system which doesn't understand justice as fairness. (c.f. FREEMAN)
1.3.1 The price may not necessarily be becoming tantamount to a Hobbesian rational enterprise, but Rawls ends up being so vague about the CONTENT of public reason by reframing public reason as GUIDANCE for the application of PRINCIPLE OF JUSTICE that his theory loses any real bite
1.3.1.1 BUT here is where RAWLS does slip up and make it into a HOBBESIAN RATIONAL COMPROMISE: states that only the ESSENTIALS of the constitution must be acceptable to the reasonable person based on principles of reasonableness and rationality. Argues that making it a requirement that ALL government action must be endorsed is too STRENUOUS (c.f. FREEMAN). SO this means that people will have to SETTLE for many government actions that they DO NOT ENDORSE/ would NOT BE THEIR FIRST OR BEST CHOICE
1.3.1.2 FURTHER SLIP-UP (c.f. FREEMAN): RAWLS expresses the distinction between LEGITIMACY and JUSTICE. Can have a law enacted that abides by the PRINCIPLE OF LIBERAL LEGITIMACY, but is also (moderately) UNJUST- but RAWLS says there is a MORAL DUTY to nonetheless OBEY this law, in order to ensure STABILITY of the legal system. Thus, again, acceptance of second best (or worse) for the sake of the legal system's stability- RATIONAL HOBBESIAN COMPROMISE
1.4 BUT: RECIPROCITY OF JUSTIFICATION- requires that all reasonable persons be prepared to accept as GOOD REASONS the PUBLIC JUSTIFICATION of the use of COERCIVE POLITICAL POWER according to the terms of its POLITICAL CONSTITUTION. iMPLIES citizens' GENERAL ACCEPTANCE of the REASONS that PUBLICLY JUSTIFY the principles (c.f. FREEMAN)-NATURAL EXTENSION OF THE SOCIAL CONTRACT [but with a twist of reasonable acceptance from those in a position of EQUAL RIGHT, so not just expectation in itself that isn't backed up by historical fact, but also mixing explicit metaphysical element that IF people were in a position of equal right, they'd generally accept the justifications]
1.4.1 But is this criticism a result of Rawls' recasting, or would it have existed regardless? i.e. is it a price of reformulation, or would this criticism have applied to the original theory and thus Rawls hasn't negatively distorted his theory by reformulation?
1.4.2 BUT c.f. RAWLS in RESPONSE TO HABERMAS: 'one might ask why the Quaker's religiious doctrine prohibiting their engaging in war does not put their allegience in doubt, Yet our religion may enjoin many things. It may require our support of constitutional government as that which, of all feasible political regimes, is most in accord with the religious injuction to be eqully concerned with the basic rights and fundamental interests of others as well as our own.'
2 2012: Why did John Rawls recast his liberalism as 'political'? Did this recasting successfully address the problems it was supposed to address?
2.1 Contrast between moral and political philosophy (none of the questions set by the teachers or the model question explicitly approach Rawls from this angle)
2.2 BUT could be from the angle of successful avoidance of COMPEHENSIVE MORAL DOCTRINES, and whether THIS successfully addresses the problems it was supposed to address, i.e. a concept of justice that is acceptable to all, or all 'REASONABLE PERSONS'. Then, the idea that 'REASONABLE' is INHERENTLY MORAL, so Rawls has not succeeded
2.3 PROBLEMS that needed addressing: the theory of justice ends up being based on controversial MORAL assumptions, which people have no basis to accept. Moreover, the ORIGINAL POSITION is METAPHYSICAL, and so does not represent reality. Rawls thus recasts his theory as POLITICAL LIBERALISM, to attempt to make his theory FULLY NEUTRAL by basing reasons on political conception of justice, as well as re-casting the original position as the DEVICE OF REPRESENTATION
2.4 c.f. FREEMAN: RAWLS (in THEORY) held that the social contract is to be grounded in everyone's recognition of their moral autonomy that stems from their "general will" or their joint authorship of moral laws as reasonable and rational citizens
2.5 THESIS: trying to avoid the METAPHYSICAL when it comes to REASONS for people to accept POLITICAL LIBERALISM. Not about avoiding the metaphysical altogether. So when it comes to his conception of "RECIPROCITY OF ADVANTAGE", not problematic-- law-makers can actually exercise this logic behind policy decisions. It is about whether this would be acceptable to the people embracing this version of liberalism.
3 EM: 'A central problem in Rawls' political liberalism is that it fails to appreciate that democratic public norm determination is of the first signficance for the legitimacy of the modern state and law.' Discuss.
3.1 This is primarily a question on LIBERALISM AND DEMOCRACY, but is Rawls-centred
3.2 CENTRAL PROBLEM?
3.3 Is the DEMOCRATIC PUBLIC NORM DETERMINATION of the FIRST SIGNIFICANCE of the legitimacy of the modern state and law? Does RAWLS fail to appreciate this?
3.4 c.f. FREEMAN: Rawls' conception of REASONABLE PLURALISM is arguably recognising at least an aspect of a DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY. And this conception plays a fundamental and central role in poltiical liberalism. Also, OVERLAPPING CONSENSUS means all reasonable people accept LIBERAL conception of JUSTICE, and this is underpinned in all public deliberation.
3.5 THESIS: 'LIBERAL' and 'DEMOCRATIC' a CONTRADICTION of terms? i.e. SOCIAL CONTRACT emphasis on liberalism is about looking out for self-interests (particularly HOBBES and KANT) whereas (particularly RADICAL) DEMOCRACY about COLLECTIVE FREEDOM. Does Rawls maintain collective freedom? In a way-- with his CRITERION OF RECIPROCITY. But DIVERGES from this through the RECIPROCITY OF JUSTIFICATION, which makes it too hypothetical and based on the idea of a social contract, a historical event, that never actually happened/people never actually agreed to.
3.6 c,f, FREEMAN- RAWLS distinguishes between DEMOCRACY-- i.e. GENERAL ACCEPTANCE of enacted laws, and LEGITIMACY, i.e. accordance with a constitution that is REASONABLY ACCEPTABLE to DEMOCRATIC CITIZENS. so perhaps arguable that Rawls DOES recognise democracy but using different terminology. HOWEVER, because of his idea of 'REASONABLE ACCEPTANCE', this must be rejected as it is INHERENTLY EXCLUSIVE (particularly when considering DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY)
3.7 c.f. FREEMAN: for RAWLS, PUBLIC REASON plays a substantial role in political liberalism. Public reason's 'subject is the good of the PUBLIC; its content is a POLITICAL CONCEPTION OF JUSTICE' (PL). Moreover, RAWLS states that the SUPREME COURT'S REASON IS PUBLIC REASON, and 'the supreme court is the branch of government that serves as the exemlar of public reason' (PL) the IMPLICATION behind this is that RAWLS believes in DEMOCRACY that is NOT MAJORITARIAN.
4 MW: In what sense, and to what extent, can Hobbes', Kant's and Rawls' theories of the state and law be said to be 'liberal'? Discuss
4.1 All-inclusive question centred on LIBERALISM with regards the STATE and LAW
4.2 To what EXTENT suggests a RANKING of the theories in terms of their recognition of liberalism
4.2.1 Is this misleading? Yes, DEGREES of liberalism. But perhaps different types of liberalism that cannot be compared against each other
5 AG: "Rawls' political theory is liberal whereas Hobbes' and Kant's are not, because he successfully avoids reliance upon comprehensive moral doctrines." Discuss.
5.1 All-inclusive question, centred on: liberalism, and comprehensive moral doctrines.
5.2 is Rawls' political theory LIBERAL?
5.3 Is Hobbes' theory LIBERAL?
5.4 is KANT'S theory LIBERAL?
5.5 DOES Rawls' political theory SUCCESSFULLY avoid reliance upon COMPREHENSIVE MORAL DOCTRINES?
5.6 c.f. FREEMAN: RAWLS- reformulates but sustains the kind of social agreement that underlies SOCIAL CONTRACT DOCTRINE. Rather than all agreeing on justice for the same reasons (Locke, Kant, Rousseau and Rawls in THEORY) when O.C. prevails, different comprehensive doctrines can agree on the SAME CONCEPTIONS of justice in a well-ordered society each for its OWN PARTICULAR COMPREHENSIVE REASONS
5.7 THESIS: RAWLS relies on METAPHYSICAL DOCTRINE just as much as KANT- the OVERLAPPING CONSENSUS is PURELY HYPOTHETICAL- whole theory relies on IF the O.C. is an actual possibility
5.8 c.f. RAWLS: "KANTIAN CONSTRUCTIVISM"- attempting to AVOID the problem of TRUTH and the controversy between realism and subjectivism about the status of moral and political values. But neither asserts nor denies these doctrines. 'Rather, it recasts ideas from the tradition of the social contract to achieve a PRACTICABLE CONCEPTION OF OBJECTIVITY AND JUSTIFICATION founded on PUBLIC AGREEMENT in judgment on DUE REFLECTION [reflective equilibrium]' Rawls asserts that the philosophical search for TRUTH cannot bring about public agreement without the state's INFRINEMENT OF BASIC LIBERTIES
6 GW: How does one's understanding of human nature inform one's account of law? Discuss with reference to at least one of Hobbes, Kant and Rawls
6.1 A question regarding human nature comprising all within the liberal-social contract theories
6.2 HOBBES: SoN
6.3 REVOLUTION
7 EM: 'Both Hobbes' and Kant's theories of the State and its law are unsuitable in contemporary conditions of REASONABLE PLURALISM' Discuss.
7.1 REASONABLE PLURALISM is a direct reference to RAWLS. Therefore, this question discusses all those in the LIBERAL-SOCIAL CONTRACT SECTION
7.2 CONTEMPORARY CONDITIONS?
7.3 REASONABLE PLURALISM?
7.4 BOTH HOBBES AND KANT = UNSUITABLE?
7.5 Is RAWLS' theory suitable?
7.6 THESIS: shall argue that the idea of reasonable pluralism does not match contemporary conditions, as it is a MORAL CONSTRUCT inevitably dependent on SUBJECTIVE views on WHAT IS REASONABLE. Moreover, there is more to contemporary conditions than simply reasonable pluralism, such as FURTHER IDEAS OF DEMOCRACY-- doesn't stop at pluralism. and REASONABLE PLURALISM is INHERENTLY EXCLUSIVE, which cannot match the idea of DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY
7.7 c.f. FREEMAN: RAWLS' OVERLAPPING CONSENSUS: more OPTIMISTIC than HOBBESIAN views about human capacity for REASONABLE AGREEMENT. At the same time, more REALISTIC about the feasible bases for reasonable agreement among free and equal persons than are NATURAL RIGHTS THEORIES (KANT, RAWLS in THEORY) of the SOCIAL CONTRACT

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