Raz — Liberalism, Scepticism, and Democracy
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I.    Issue

Our culture combines a "dedication to individual freedom with bitter disagreements about its limits."  Arguments for individual liberty that exclude moralism are "misguided and dangerous."

II.    Ideology/Theory

Raz is a Perfectionist on the Left.  Perfectionism puts the good before the right; liberty is valuable because it allows you to do something else.  It is rooted in Aristotelian theory that the purpose of the political community is to facilitate the cultivation of human virtues.  In other words, it is the job of the state to enable people to lead excellent lives. 

III.    Arguments

a.    Raz begins by criticizing the argument that moral skepticism/fallibility provides an important moral foundation for respecting individual liberty.  He says that there is a global danger in self-interest motivating tolerance, and he states that the local rational outcome of ignorance is intolerance.
b.    He continues by explaining why conceptions of democracy based in skepticism/fallibility are problematic.  This construction only supports tolerance if it is already being practiced.  He addresses the claim that all judgments prone to error by arguing that if people avoid judging, then they are being subjective and are more likely to err.  Raz calls out Dworkin, saying that external preferences cannot not be used in political decisions because the preferences are not "external," they are just inconsistent with the political system. 
c.    Finally, Raz states that individual liberty is a positive, valuable component of the moral idea of the free person. 

IV.    Significance

Moreover Raz argues that the fact that you chose something makes it matter to you.  Freely choosing the bad is worse that not freely choosing the bad.  Choices can make a government good or bad.  Raz asks, is the essence of liberalism that immoral or ignoble activities and preferences be protected?  He answers a "qualified yes" - to the extent that is necessary for the protection of autonomy. 

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  1. These notes capture the main idea of the article, but they don't really do much to convey the structure or detail of the argument. Feel free to revise these, with additions of your own, for example by providing some description and analysis of Raz's use of the term, "autonomy."