[SydPhil] Philosophy seminar, Friday 14th of September, Macquarie University

Paul Formosa pc.formosa at gmail.com
Mon Sep 10 14:26:21 AEST 2012

The Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University is hosting a seminar
this Friday, the 14th of September, from 1:30-3:30pm, in Bld. W6A,
room 127. The  presenter will be Dr Thomas Besch, from the Department of
Philosophy at the University of Sydney. Title and abstract are below. All
are welcome.

Title: Political liberalism, the internal conception, and the problem of
public dogma

Abstract: According to the “internal” conception (Quong), political
liberalism aims to be publicly justifiable only to people who are
reasonable in a sense specified and advocated by political liberalism
itself. One advantage of the internal conception allegedly is that it
enables liberalism to avoid perfectionism. The paper takes issue with this
view. It argues that once the internal conception is duly pitched at its
fundamental, metatheoretical level and placed in its proper discursive
context, it emerges that it comes at the cost of public dogma. I argue that
a plausible response to this problem is to go beyond the internal
conception and adopt a more inclusive, dynamic conception. But this calls
for a form of perfectionism. Thus, the internal conception of political
liberalism, far from showing how liberalism can be had without
perfectionism, effectively calls for perfectionism as a remedy for its



Dr Paul Formosa
ARC DECRA Research Fellow
Department of Philosophy
Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia
E: Paul.Formosa at mq.edu.au

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