Volume 37, 2012
John Patrick Rudisill
Avoiding the Whiff of Paradox in the Liberal Promotion of Autonomy
Critical Comment on Colburn
In his recent articulation and defense of what he calls autonomy-minded anti-perfectionism, Ben Colburn relies on a distinction he draws between first-order and second-order values. In this paper I argue that his approach (1) fails to make good on its promise to offer a distinct third way, (2) is either too restrictive or too permissive and (3) relies crucially on a kind of formal analysis that undercuts the central claim upon which rests his unification of neutrality-minded (“political”) and perfectionistic (“comprehensive”) liberalism.