Matthew Kramer: Liberalism with Excellence
Liberalism with Excellence is Matthew Kramer’s first of two books on justice. It is, as he states in its preface, ‘in many respects a prolegomenon to the second volume, A Stoic Theory of Justice’. The book is, nonetheless, a well-argued and complex self-standing work; a fresh contribution to the sempiternal question: what are the bases for the legitimacy of the exercise of public power?
The book advances three general goals. First, it re-examines and challenges the requirement of state neutrality regarding reasonable conceptions of the good which is typically endorsed by Rawls and other liberal philosophers. Kramer avers that in rejecting neutrality and in advocating for the use of ‘subsidies and other inducements for the attainment of excellence in sundry areas of human endeavour’, his position ‘can be rightly classified as “perfectionist”’ (2017, p. 1).
Nonetheless, in a second step, Kramer distances himself from the perfectionist tradition by espousing a conception of liberalism...
- Dworkin, Ronald. 1985. Liberalism. In A Matter of Principle, 181–204. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Ryan, Alan. 2010. Liberalism. In A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy, ed. Robert E. Goodin, Phillip Pettit, and Thomas W. Pogge, 359–382. New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Shklar, Judith. 1989. The Liberalism of Fear. In Political Liberalism: Variations on a Theme, ed. Shaun P. Young, 149–167. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Skinner, Quentin. 1984b. The Paradoxes of Political Liberty. In The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, 227–250. The University of Utah.Google Scholar
- Skinner, Quentin. 1998. Liberty Before Liberalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Skinner, Quentin. 2002. A Third Concept of Liberty. In Proceedings of the British Academy, 237–268. London: The British Academy.Google Scholar
- Waldron, Jeremy. 1987. Theoretical Foundations of Liberalism. The Philosophical Quaterly 37 (147): 127–150.Google Scholar