By John Kekes
In his contemporary publication opposed to Liberalism, thinker John Kekes argued that liberalism as a political method is doomed to failure by way of its inner inconsistencies. during this significant other quantity, he makes a strong case for conservatism because the most sensible replacement. His is the 1st systematic description and safety of the elemental assumptions underlying conservative notion.
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On the negative side, he is citing the necessary (but not sufficient) conditions for restricting that freedom. Broadly, his claim is that individual freedom is supremely important and may be restricted only in order to prevent harm to others. (It is important to note here that Mill is not claiming that interference is justified in all cases where an action will result in harm to others. His point is simply that it is in such cases alone that the question of interference arises. ) By separating these positive and negative components, we may divide discussion of Mill's account into two parts: firstly an investigation of his grounds for giving such prominence to liberty 48 Toleration and the Limits of Liberalism (that will be the aim of this chapter), and secondly an examination of the limits of liberty (that question will be discussed in more general terms in Chapter 5).
Recently, however, Onora O'Neill has suggested that there is much to be said for reminding ourselves of the latter question (O'Neill, 'Practices of Toleration' unpublished paper). The reasons for this are not wholly sympathetic to Locke's own case, but they do provide a warning of the dangers of pursuing rights theories too vigorously. Again, all I wish to do is to suggest that the assumption that everything can be explained if we concentrate on victims' rights is far too simplistic, and that in so far as this is the charge against Locke, it is ill-founded.
Modern moral and political philosophy has tended to exaggerate the distinction between these two kinds of belief, and relatedly it has exaggerated the sense in which it is possible to choose or decide upon one's moral beliefs, often construing these choices as a matter of rationality. One important feature of Locke's claim that belief is not subject to the will is, I think, its implication that moral and religious belief are not, properly speaking, objects of choice at all. Again, Williams says: 'There are points of resemblance between moral and factual convictions; and I suspect it to be true of moral, as it certainly is of factual convictions that we cannot take very seriously a profession of them if we are given to understand that the speaker has just decided to adopt them ...