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date: 13 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes three major assumptions in Joseph Raz’s book The Morality of Freedom (MF): its account of legitimate authority, its rejection of egalitarianism, and its defense of an autonomy-based perfectionism. It first summarizes the book’s main line of argument about how a concern for freedom should figure in moral reflection regarding the value and purpose of political practices. It then examines MF’s repudiation of the conventional self-image of liberalism, and in particular utilitarian consequentialism. It also considers Raz’s claim that the trajectory that liberal thought has described in the wake of John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice is misguided. Finally, it discusses Raz’s strategy for reconciling a commitment to liberal freedom with a perfectionist political morality as it relates to the claim that autonomy is an essential aspect of individual flourishing.

Keywords: Joseph Raz, The Morality of Freedom, legitimate authority, egalitarianism, perfectionism, freedom, liberalism, utilitarian consequentialism, political morality, autonomy

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