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Transitional problems in Brudner's inclusive conception of liberalism

Charvet, John ORCID: 0000-0002-3724-117X (2009) Transitional problems in Brudner's inclusive conception of liberalism. LSE law, society and economy working papers (03-2009). Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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This paper criticizes Brudner's purported dialectical deduction and hence "justification" of a communitarian form of liberalism. Brudner's argument begins from an atomistic and libertarian conception of liberalism as the idea of individuals having independent worth as self-sufficient agents. It attempts to show that the contradictions in such a view require resolution, first, through a move to the notion of the equal worth of individuals as autonomous beings and, finally, through the contradictions within egalitarianism to the subsumption of liberty and equality in a liberal community. The point of the deduction is to show that the only conceptually stable and hence viable form of liberalism is communitarian. The paper argues that Brudner's starting-point in independent worth does not express a genuine independence. Equality and community are present implicitly within his initial formulation. Hence, there are no contradictions and no demonstration through their resolution that liberalism, however initially conceived, must end up as communitarian in form. This is not to say that a genuine initial independent individualism cannot be clearly formulated. However, such a position would not generate any supposed contradictions and could lead to a "justification" of a liberal community only on the basis of utilitarian and rational contractarian claims, more in the manner of Hobbes than Hegel.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 The Author
Divisions: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2009 15:44
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 11:48

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