Neutralism for Perfectionists: The Case of Restricted State Neutrality

The label “perfectionism” attaches to a family of views in political philosophy.  The members of the family differ in substantive content, but they are united in their commitment to two very general, and at first pass, quite plausible claims.  The first claim is one in value theory.  Some human lives are better lived lives than others.  On this claim, a maximally well lived human life, if it were possible, would be a perfect life, even if few or no human beings achieve it. (Some perfectionists deny that a perfect human life is possible.  The realization of some excellences precludes the realization of others, but they still accept that some human lives are better lived than others.) 

Published in: Ethics
2010 120, No 2 Pages 232-256