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Islam and Liberal CitizenshipThe Search for an Overlapping Consensus$
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Andrew F. March

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195330960

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195330960.001.0001

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Methods: The Ethics of Comparative Ethics

Methods: The Ethics of Comparative Ethics

Chapter:
(p.65) 2 Methods: The Ethics of Comparative Ethics
Source:
Islam and Liberal Citizenship
Author(s):

Andrew F. March (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195330960.003.0003

This chapter elaborates a methodology for engaging in what Rawls referred to as “conjecture,” here called “justificatory comparative political theory” or “comparative ethics.” It moves beyond Rawls’s remarks to a conception of comparative ethics that takes the integrity of religious ethics seriously, and advances the following principles designed to guide the search for an overlapping consensus: plausibility, sincerity, “canon first,” transparency, sympathy, and restraint. This results in a less ambitious form of conjecture suggested by Rawls which is characterized as diagnostic, evaluative and synthetic. This chapter also addresses the problem of locating “Islam” as a comprehensive doctrine, justifying this book’s preference for arguments drawn from the Islamic legal tradition, particularly the “jurisprudence of Muslim minorities” (fiqh al-aqalliyyat al-muslima).

Keywords:   conjecture, comparative ethics, overlapping consensus, Muslim minorities, comprehensive doctrine, fiqh al-aqalliyyat

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