Douglas Rasmussen

douglas rasmussenDouglas Rasmussen (1948) est professeur de philosophie à St. John’s University (NY) et co-auteur (avec Douglas J. Den Uyl) notamment de :

Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand (1987)

Liberty and Nature: An Aristotelian Defense of Liberal Order (1991)

Liberalism Defended: The Challenge of Post-Modernity (1997)

Norms of Liberty: A Perfectionist Basis for Non-Perfectionist Politics (2005)

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Table des matières

Part one: liberalism and the political order

1 Liberalism in Crisis 5
2 Liberalism and Ethics 18
The Good and the Right 22 The Socialization of Ethics 28 The Metanormative Solution 33
3 Liberalism’s Past and Precedents 42
The Nature of Liberalism 44
Natural Rights 62
4 Why Individual Rights? Rights as Metanormative Principles 76
The Basic Right to Liberty 76
Rights as Metanormative Principles 78 Human Flourishing—Objective but Plural 79 Human Flourishing—Profoundly Social 81 Requirements for Metanormativity 83 Justifying the Political/Legal Order 84
Human Flourishing—A Self-Directed Activity 86
Self-Direction as the Basis for Metanormativity 88 Protecting the Possibility of Self-Direction Among Others 89 Understanding Individual Rights 91
Why Individual Rights Trump 92
A Major Objection Considered 94
5 The Natural Right to Private Property 97

part two: a new deep structure for liberalism

6 Individualistic Perfectionism 111
A Cautionary Note and a Brief Discussion of Method and Metaphysical Context 115
An Outline of a Neo-Aristotelian Version of Perfectionist Ethics 127
1. Objective 127
2. Inclusive 129
3. Individualized 132
4. Agent-Relative 134
5. Self-Directed 138
6. Social 141
The Role of Practical Wisdom 143
7 Defending Individualistic Perfectionism 153 Universality and Agent-Relativity 153 Objectivity and Individuality 156
Agent-Neutrality and Practical Reason 158 Justice and Human Flourishing 160 Desires and Self-Direction 163
The Function Argument 167 Pluralism and Human Flourishing 170 The Role of Moral Virtue 171
Considering John Gray’s Dismissal of Perfectionism 173
8 Natural Law and the Common Good 184
New and Traditional Natural Law Theory 185
Natural Law and the Common Good of the Political Community 197
9 Self-Ownership 206

part three: defending liberalism

10 Communitarian and Conservative Critics 225
The Challenge of Communitarianism 225
The Challenge of Pluralistic Communitarianism 244 The Challenge of Natural Law Conservatism 251 The Challenge of Eudaimonic Conservatism 257
11 The Structure of the Argument for Individual Rights 265
Individual Rights as Metanormative Principles 265

From Human Flourishing to the Natural Right to Liberty 268

Section I: Human Flourishing: Individualized and Profoundly Social 269
Section II: Liberalism’s Problem 271
Section III: Finding an Ethical Basis for Metanormative Principles 273
A. Self-Perfection, Constituent Goods and Virtues, and Money 273
B. Practical Wisdom, Practical Reason, and Self- Direction 275
C. Self-Direction as the Basis for Metanormativity 277
Section IV: Individual Rights: Protecting the Possibility of Self- Direction Among Others 279
Section V: Justifying the Political/Legal Order: The Question of Legitimacy 282
12 Defending Individualistic Non-Perfectionist Politics 284
The Metanormative Dilemma 286 Once Again, Why Respect Rights? 288 Conceding Rights 292
A Worry About Neo-Aristotelianism and Rights 294
Rawls, Justice, and Metanormativity: Are There Other Metanormative Principles Than Rights? 296
Is the Concept of ‘‘Metanormative Principles’’ Really Necessary? 301
Making Self-Direction Possible for the Extremely Poor 303
Bonded Flourisher Argument 311
The Need for Agent-Neutral Values 313
The Absent Telos 317
Agent-Centeredness 319
The Acceptability Problem 322 Metanorms Are Biased 323 The Issue of Symbolism 327 Self-Sufficiency 330
What if Men Were Angels? 333
Conclusion 338

Epilogue: From Metanorms to Metaphysics 340
Index 347



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