Chapter

Anti-Perfectionism and Autonomy

Robert P. George

in Making Men Moral

Published in print April 1995 | ISBN: 9780198260240
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682063 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198260240.003.0006

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Anti-Perfectionism and Autonomy

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter discusses the liberal argument against the enforcement of moral laws. There are two major arguments against the enforcement of moral laws. The first is the anti-perfectionist argument, which states that the enforcement of moral laws restricting the rights of citizens to make them morally upright is unjust, for it violates a person's right to individual autonomy. The second is the perfectionist argument, which treats autonomy as a good that the government should protect and provide for its citizens; it should as much as possible avoid the use of coercion in directing people's choices. The chapter focuses on the inherent inconsistencies in the anti-perfectionist arguments, particularly those espoused by well known anti-perfectionist thinker John Rawls and his follower D. A. J. Richards.

Keywords: moral laws; perfectionist argument; John Rawls; Richards; coercion; individual autonomy

Chapter.  12506 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.