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Is Martha Nussbaum really political liberal?

  • Autori: Biondo, F.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2008
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Nussbaum, Rawls, Political liberalism, overlapping consensus
  • OA Link:


This paper puts under scrutiny Martha Nussbaum’s turn to political liberalism. Unlike Rawls, she seems to assume that overlapping consensus works even within societies without democratic constitutions. Though, this sort of consensus is doomed to be unstable, since there is not a previous constitutional consensus, as Rawls requires. Unlike Rawls’ constructivist theory, her conception of political liberalism is more akin to forms of moral objectivism. Moreover, her allegation of gender discrimination towards institutions that let only men run for certain jobs (such as presidency of certain catholic universities) is based on a clear cut distinction between public and private sphere. However, “political liberals” cannot but accept a fuzzy distinction if they want to maintain their “political” and not comprehensive or metaphysical attitudes towards public issues.