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Title: Some varieties of liberalism and pluralism with special reference to the political theory of Joseph Raz
Author: Papoulias, Panagiotis
ISNI:       0000 0004 0123 3295
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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The thesis argues that there are a number of pluralist ethical theories each one of which exemplifies traits that make it compatible, to different degrees, with different liberal doctrines. The pluralist ethical theories on which I focus are Berlinian value pluralism, lexical pluralism, non-linear value pluralism, value pluralism as reasonable disagreement and Kekes' theory of primary and secondary values. While delineating these pluralist variations, I also investigate their relationship with moral relativism and moral objectivism. Then I proceed to examine their compatibility with different liberal doctrines. The liberalisms examined are Mill's liberalism, Rawls' liberalism in A Theory of Justice and Rawls' liberalism in Political Liberalism, while there is also reference to Kekes' conservatism which is derived from pluralist premises. Then I continue by focusing specifically on the relationship between ethical pluralism and Raz's liberal perfectionism. I present my understanding of Raz's liberal system of ideas and I specify the two concepts in which I will tackle the issue of its compatibility with ethical pluralism. Firstly, I exercise the methodology that I have used in my discussion regarding the compatibility between different pluralisms and different liberalisms by examining the compatibility of liberal perfectionism with ethical pluralisms of variable radical aspirations. Secondly, I examine the compatibility in question through an inquiry into Raz's theory of value. This inquiry, however, does not yield results only with respect to the compatibility between liberal perfectionism and ethical pluralism, since it also reveals a problem which relates, but cannot be completely identified with, the issue of the compatibility between liberal perfectionism and ethical pluralism. Namely, the theory of value upon which Raz bases his liberal perfectionist doctrine is too ambiguous and after closer inspection it becomes apparent that if liberal perfectionism is to be a valid doctrine, it must advocate some kind of conservatism which must be further complemented by a belief in meliorism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available