An Overview of Liberalism without Perfection
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Quong’s influential book probably represents the most sophisticated defence of Rawlsian political liberalism. This review focuses on its content and systematizes it by chapters, emphasizing its relevance both in the first part, where the author puts the liberal perfectionist position under critical scrutiny by advancing three major objections (regarding autonomy, paternalism and political legitimacy), and the second, where the author presents and defends a distinctive version of political liberalism that clearly differs from the one presented by Rawls in several important features. The review also summarizes Quong’s innovative arguments regarding the nature of an overlapping consensus, the structure of political justification, the idea of public reason, and the status of unreasonable persons.