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Lecture 10

Political Science 1020E Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Robert Nozick, Economic Liberalism, Neoliberalism

Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 1020E
Erin Hannah

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Lecture 10
October 13, 2015
What is the concepon of the good?
-a view about what makes people’s lives worth living
A Central Liberal Claim
-liberals are mainly concerned with individual freedom
-what does this imply about the value of community?
Liberalism is not Neoliberalism
-neoliberalism is somemes called economic liberalism
-neoliberalism defends unrestricted markets: laissez-faire economy
-but liberalism only wants to defend individuals’ freedom to form, revise, and pursue a concepon of the
good life
Seven community-inspired Objecons to Liberalism
Do Liberals Assume that People are Sel#sh?
-somemes ‘community’ is used as code for ‘morality’: people should care for each other, so we should
reject egoisc liberal individualism
-but liberalism is a moral doctrine: it says the freedom of each person ma!ers equally
-liberal morality aims to ensure that individuals are free to decide for themselves how to live, as long as
they treat others with equal respect
Do Liberals Recommend a Minimal State?
-any liberal state should protect and promote the freedom of individual cizens
-one way to be a liberal is to be a libertarian like Robert Nozick: minimal state, no redistribuve taxaon
-but another liberal view is John Rawls’s: to be autonomous, cizens need their fair share of goods, so
redistribuon is required
Do Liberals Emphasize Rights rather than Responsibilies?
-do they overemphasize rights, thereby neglecng dues and responsibilies
Conceptual Point: every right has a correlave duty
-why do we have rights? To protect interests that are su*ciently important to put others under a duty
Do Liberals Believe that Values are Subjecve or Relave?
-do liberals think morality is just a ma!er of preference or taste?
No, liberals say that everyone should respect individual freedom and equality
-are liberals subjecvists about concepons of the good?
No, they say only that CHOOSING is a necessary condion for living a good life
Do Liberals Deny that Individuals are Socially Constuted?
-communitarian objecon: liberals believe in an unencumbered self, but our concepon of ourselves
comes from society
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