I’m currently massively reworking a paper on religious toleration and liberal perfectionism. It turns out that Steve Wall’s liberal perfectionist take on toleration is intricate enough that I need to spend the entire paper on it. I suspect the paper will be much improved. The main issue is this: liberal perfectionists have a teleological political theory, they think value is to be promoted. However, perfectionists recognize that we have reason to respect others and that the kind of value we ascribe to people when we respect them is not the sort of thing that it is appropriate to maximize. That said, they still have to ground reasons to respect others in reasons to promote objective value. Wall has something close to a theory about how this works. And I now think that grounding reasons to respect in reasons to promote is the problem my paper is really trying to get at. I think we can’t make sense of religious toleration is we have to make sense of our reasons to respect the religious liberties of others in terms of what objective values those liberties promote.
I should have a new draft of it up by the end of the week. For now, I will leave the original paper posted.
I’m also posting the second chapter of my dissertation. In it, I explain the structure of justificatory liberalism and ground it in the second-person standpoint and contractualist moral theory. It turns out that the connection is harder to sustain than you might think. I hope that when the reader reaches the end of the chapter, she will see the moral idea justificatory liberalism is supposed to express. In the third and fourth I do the same for the moral idea at the root of the concerns advanced by religious critics of justificatory liberalism. That’s the first half of the dissertation.