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The Idea of Neutrality

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Neutrality; Toleration; Political Liberalism; John Rawls; Justification.

This article argues for a certain theoretical reconstruction of the principle of neutrality. I will proceed this way. In the second section I will distinguish neutrality from toleration, clarifying the reasons why it is appropriate to keep the two concepts distinct. In the third section I will briefly present the theoretical context within which the debate on neutrality started, emphasizing the central role of John Rawls's reflection. In the fourth section I will outline the well-known distinction between neutrality of effects and neutrality of justification, suggesting a kind of "neutralist sequence" that holds these two variants of neutrality together in a non-conflictual way. In the fifth section I will argue in defence of this reconstruction of the paradigm as a way to effectively account for what we ask for when we invoke the principle of neutrality.

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