An intermittently Liberal anthology compiled by Jonathan Calder

Monday, June 30, 2003  

Two concepts of liberalism
Liberalism contains two philosophies. In one, toleration is justified as a means to truth. In this view, toleration is an instrument of rational consensus, and a diversity of ways of life is endured in the faith that it is destined to disappear. In the other, toleration is valued as a condition of peace, and divergent ways of living are welcomed as marks of diversity in the good life.

The first conception supports an ideal of ultimate convergence on values, the latter an ideal of modus vivendi. Liberalism's future lies in turning its face away from the ideal of rational consensus and looking instead to modus vivendi.

John Gray Two Faces of Liberalism (2000)

posted by Jonathan Calder | 10:47 pm