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Understanding Liberal DemocracyEssays in Political Philosophy$
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Nicholas Wolterstorff and Terence Cuneo

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558957.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Understanding Liberal Democracy

Nicholas Wolterstorff

Terence Cuneo

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the transition in the West from a perfectionist view of the state, which states that the task of the state is to “perfect” its citizens, to a protectionist view of the state, which states that the fundamental task of the state is not to cultivate virtue in citizens but to protect them from serious violations of their natural rights by their fellow citizens or by foreigners. This introduction then summarizes the chapters contained in this book.

Keywords:   coercive law, Kant, perfectionist view of the state, protectionist view of the state, political liberalism, public reason liberalism, Rawls, John, reformation

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