Download Toleration, Diversity, and Global Justice by Kok-Chor Tan PDF

By Kok-Chor Tan

The 'comprehensive liberalism' defended during this ebook deals an alternative choice to the narrower 'political liberalism' linked to the writings of John Rawls. by means of arguing opposed to making tolerance as basic a price as person autonomy, and lengthening the succeed in of liberalism to international society, it opens the way in which for dealing extra effectively with difficulties of human rights and financial inequality in an international of cultural pluralism.

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1 That tyrannical regimes are not to be tolerated is uncontentious enough for most liberals; what is more contentious in Rawls’s thesis is his claim that hierarchical societies fall within the limits of toleration. It is this claim that I wish to question in this chapter. Before beginning, I should point out that Rawls makes two fundamental assumptions in his global theory that I shall grant for the present purpose. 2 We shall revisit these assumptions in Chapter 4. TOLERATION AND POLITICAL LIBERALISM Rawls’s law of peoples is the global application, or the ‘‘globalized’’ version, if we like, of his domestically conceived political liberalism, and so I shall 1.

The falsification in question being the fact that other cultures do not value freedom, human rights, and democracy, as the West does. 32 TOLERATION, DIVERSITY, AND GLOBAL JUSTICE more general liberal conceptions, it is essential to show that this is not so’’ (1993 p. 44, my emphases). That is, it is important for Rawls that political liberalism can be demonstrated to have global scope, that its basic ideas can be freely endorsed by (some) nonliberal societies as well. But if this endorsement is accomplished only by modifying some of the basic tenets of political liberalism in a seemingly ad hoc manner (namely, by relaxing the limits of toleration without good reason), then Rawls has not succeeded in demonstrating the global applicability of his theory on his own terms.

At this point, some comments concerning Rawls’s second condition for a DHS, that it ‘‘meet[s] the essentials of legitimacy in the eyes of its own people’’ (1993 p. 79), are in order. Now, Rawls does not mean by this that there can be no dissent at all in a DHS; in fact, he allows explicitly for the ‘‘possibility of dissent’’ here. He says, however, that the opportunity for expressing any such dissent is ‘‘not, to be sure, in a way allowed by democratic institutions, but appropriately in view of the religious and philosophical values of the society in question’’ (1993 p.

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