Thursday, 10 November 2016

Failure of a Research Programme

Liberal political philosophy has failed. It has failed not because of its politics, but because of its epistemology. Its politics of toleration and justice is still as important as it ever was, all progressive political projects must aspire to defending and promoting these virtues. I am not here dismissing the liberal virtues. But liberal political philosophy as a research programme is in a terminally degenerative state because it never saw these things as virtues in need of nurturing, but saw them as principles to be applied.

Liberal political philosophers often simply dismissed the communitarian critique, advanced by philosophers such as Charles Taylor and Alasdair MacIntyre, as conservative critiques and thereby missed the more important philosophical point of those critiques: that social change does not come from jurisprudence.

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