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Liberalism with Excellence$
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Matthew H. Kramer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777960

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198777960.001.0001

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Too Much from Too Little

Too Much from Too Little

A Critique of Gerald Gaus’s Libertarian Neutralism

Chapter:
(p.156) 4 Too Much from Too Little
Source:
Liberalism with Excellence
Author(s):

Matthew H. Kramer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198777960.003.0004

Chapter 4 remains on the offensive against liberal neutralism, as it contests the efforts by Gerald Gaus to ground his libertarian version of neutralism on supposedly thin and uncontroversial premises. As will be seen, those putatively thin premises in fact depend on a number of deeply controversial assumptions. Although at least some of those assumptions are very likely false, this chapter does not need to establish their falsity. Instead, the point will be to reveal that liberal neutralism in one of its most prominent and perceptive instantiations is fundamentally non-neutral. In addition, the chapter will expose the oddly asymmetrical reasoning through which Gaus argues against anarchism and in favor of private property.

Keywords:   Gerald Gaus, libertarianism, liberal neutralism, political philosophy, moral justification

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