Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality

Oxford University Press, 1993.

Description from Publisher:

Contemporary liberal thinkers commonly suppose that there is something in principle unjust about the legal prohibition of putatively victimless crimes. Here Robert P. George defends the traditional justification of morals legislation against criticisms advanced by leading liberal theorists. He argues that such legislation can play a legitimate role in maintaining a moral environment conducive to virtue and inhospitable to at least some forms of vice. Among the liberal critics of morals legislation whose views George considers are Ronald Dworkin, Jeremy Waldron, David A. J. Richards, and Joseph Raz. He also considers the influential modern justification for morals legislation offered by Patrick Devlin as an alternative to the traditional approach. George closes with a sketch of a “pluralistic perfectionist” theory of civil liberties and public morality, showing that it is fully compatible with a defense of morals legislation. Making Men Moral will interest legal scholars and political theorists as well as theologians and philosophers focusing on questions of social justice and political morality.

Table of Contents:

Front Matter
1. The Central Tradition
2. Social Cohesion and the Legal Enforcement of Morals
3. Individual Rights and Collective Interests
4. Taking Rights Seriously
5. Anti-Perfectionism and Autonomy
6. Pluralistic Perfectionism and Autonomy
7. Toward a Pluralistic Perfectionist Theory of Civil Liberties

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