chapter  13
13 Pages

Liberal virtue and moral enfeeblement: Eamonn Callan

I Liberal politics is repugnant to virtue. That is a common charge nowadays. A familiar rejoinder is that liberal politics requires a distinctive family ofvirtues, including tolerance, moderation, and open-mindedness. By itself, the rejoinder cannot be decisive because no one denies that liberal politics depends on virtue-like dispositions of some sort. The real worry is that these are mere simulacra of virtue, disguising an essentially amoral or immoral conception of persons and society. I claim that liberal virtue is the genuine article. But the grounds for saying that it is depend on conceiving liberal morality and its educational requirements as closer to traditional conceptions than many think they are.