Can We Base Freedom on Ignorance?

  • Mary Midgley


This is the manifesto that I once heard someone lay down in an argument about the duty of toleration. It was spoken ardently and confidently, with no expectation that it might be questioned. It was not said as a new discovery, but as a moral platitude, something so obvious that it need only be mentioned to be accepted. And the speaker was not being at all eccentric in so pronouncing it; this confidence is normal today. In the last few decades, the word “judgemental” has been specially coined and is used, along with the slightly older word “moralistic”, to describe and attack this particular form of wrongdoing.


Moral Judgement Moral Question Moral Objection General Vocabulary Detective Story 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Works quoted in this chapter

  1. Baroness Wootton, Barbara, Crime and the Criminal Law (London, Stevens, 1981) pp. 42, 63Google Scholar
  2. P.D. James, Devices and Desires (London, Faber and Faber, 1989) pp. 139, 187, 388Google Scholar
  3. Tom Stoppard, Professional Foul (London, Faber and Faber, published 1984 in a collection with Squaring the Circle and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour) p. 179Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mary Midgley 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Midgley

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