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Stability and Congruence in Political Liberalism: The Promise of an Ideal of Civic Friendship

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Abstract

This article focuses on the perceived inadequacy of political liberalism to account for the normative priority of political values over non-political ones in cases of conflict between the two. I address this challenge by developing a revised account of congruence built on a public and shared rationale for endorsing the deliberative priority of political values. Such an account can be developed on the basis of the idea of civic friendship as a shared motivation among citizens in a society marked by reasonable pluralism. I show how the assumption of such a motivation across contractors in the Original Position can be warranted and what its implications are for the congruence between the political values expressed in a conception of justice and the non-political values forming part of citizens' conceptions of the good.

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