An Egalitarian Foundation for Liberal Rights

Thomas Christiano
University of Arizona
May 28th, 2004, 4:00 to 6:00 pm
Ellis 113

tchristiano_sIn this paper I explore the foundations of liberal rights such as freedom of association, freedom of expression, and freedom of conscience as well as those freedoms associated with the private pursuit of one’s own good. I discuss some alternative conceptions of liberal rights and I show how the best account of these liberal rights is one that founds them in an egalitarian principle of distributive justice. This is important for its own sake but also because the very same egalitarian principle is at the basis of the justification of democracy.

Thomas Christiano is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Law at the University of Arizona. He will be a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford in the Fall of 2004. He is currently finishing a book on the foundations of democracy and constitutionalism. He has written a number of papers on issues of distributive justice, democratic theory and political moral philosophy. And he has published The Rule of the Many (Boulder: Westview Press, 1996).

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