Liberals often claim that the state should be neutral between individual conceptions of the good life, and use this claim to defend economic markets. Neutrality can refer to the reasons offered for institutions and policies, or to their effects. The view defended here is that an institutional framework is neutral when under its auspices people's success at realizing their conceptions of the good depends only on natural factors such as their tastes and talents. Co‐operatives competing in the market with capitalist firms face difficulties in generating sufficient investment because of the incentives their members face. For neutrality to obtain, the market must be counterbalanced by public institutions that support non‐commodity‐based conceptions of the good.
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