Radical Evil in the Lockean State: The Neglect of the Political Emotions

Radical Evil in the Lockean State: The Neglect of the Political Emotions Radical Evil in the Lockean State: The Neglect of the Political Emotions M ARTHA C. N USSBAUM * The University of Chicago Law School 1111 East 60 th Street Chicago, IL 60637, USA martha_nussbaum@law.uchicago.edu All modern liberal democracies have strong reasons to support an idea of toleration, understood as involving respect, not only grudging acceptance, and to extend it to all religious and secular doctrines, limiting only conduct that violates the rights of other citizens. There is no modern democracy, however, in which toleration of this sort is a stable achievement. Why is toleration, attractive in principle, so difficult to achieve? The normative case for toleration was well articulated by John Locke in his influential A Letter Concerning Toleration , although his attractive proposal thus rests on a fragile foundation. Kant did much more, combining a Lockean account of the state with a profound diagnosis of ‘radical evil’, the tendencies in all human beings to militate against stable toleration and respect. But Kant proposed no mechanism through which the state might mitigate the harmful influence of ‘radical evil’, thus rendering toleration stable. One solution to this problem was proposed by Rousseau, but it has deep prob- lems. How, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Moral Philosophy Brill

Radical Evil in the Lockean State: The Neglect of the Political Emotions

Journal of Moral Philosophy, Volume 3 (2): 159 – Jan 1, 2006

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2006 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1740-4681
eISSN
1745-5243
D.O.I.
10.1177/1740468106065490
Publisher site
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Abstract

Radical Evil in the Lockean State: The Neglect of the Political Emotions M ARTHA C. N USSBAUM * The University of Chicago Law School 1111 East 60 th Street Chicago, IL 60637, USA martha_nussbaum@law.uchicago.edu All modern liberal democracies have strong reasons to support an idea of toleration, understood as involving respect, not only grudging acceptance, and to extend it to all religious and secular doctrines, limiting only conduct that violates the rights of other citizens. There is no modern democracy, however, in which toleration of this sort is a stable achievement. Why is toleration, attractive in principle, so difficult to achieve? The normative case for toleration was well articulated by John Locke in his influential A Letter Concerning Toleration , although his attractive proposal thus rests on a fragile foundation. Kant did much more, combining a Lockean account of the state with a profound diagnosis of ‘radical evil’, the tendencies in all human beings to militate against stable toleration and respect. But Kant proposed no mechanism through which the state might mitigate the harmful influence of ‘radical evil’, thus rendering toleration stable. One solution to this problem was proposed by Rousseau, but it has deep prob- lems. How,

Journal

Journal of Moral PhilosophyBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2006

Keywords: emotion; Locke; Mill; evil; Rousseau; liberal democracy; toleration; Kant

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