An Error Theory for Liberal Universalism

Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (3):305-325 (2012)
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Abstract

This paper examines Bernard Williams’ challenge to liberal universalists (liberals “who assume their morality is universally applicable to everyone”) to provide a theory of error: “a story about the subject matter of political morality and about past people’s situation which explains why those people got it wrong about the subject matter.” It develops a theory of error that appeals to socio-historical conditions of the past to explain their role in making (1) liberal values and reasons epistemically inaccessible, and (2) motivations to live up to them unavailable.

Author's Profile

George Tsai
University of Hawaii

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