Neutrality, Autonomy and Order: Amitai Etzioni’s Communitarian Critique of Liberalism Under Scrutiny

JVF Conference Papers

A prominent liberal once wrote: "The hard truth is this: There is no moral meaning hidden in the bowels of the universe." I take these words as expressing the most essential core and creed of the liberal faith. Why faith? Because it requires an initial premise like the one just stated, which is not supported with unquestionable evidence but, instead, remains a proposition open for debate. It seems to me that precisely this initial premise gives the best account for subsequent liberal postulates such as pluralism of values, the autonomy of the individual and the neutrality of the state...

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