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Forbidden Ways of Life

Blackwell Publishing
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  • Jc Political Theory
  • Bj Ethics
  • Education
  • Philosophy


I examine an objection against autonomy-minded liberalism sometimes made by philosophers such as John Rawls and William Galston, that it rules out ways of life which do not themselves value freedom or autonomy. This objection is incorrect, because one need not value autonomy in order to live an autonomous life. Hence autonomy-minded liberalism need not rule out such ways of life. I suggest a modified objection which does work, namely that autonomy-minded liberalism must rule out ways of life that could not develop under an autonomy-promoting education. I conclude by suggesting some reasons why autonomy-minded liberals should bite the bullet and accept this.

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