85 christine korsgaard 14 49 conclusion liberal order

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Unformatted text preview: to make it his ground project, even though he is rationally aware that the former is a false representation of 83 Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), 160 84 Christine M. Korsgaard, “Scepticism about Practical Reason”, The Journal of Philosophy 83:1 (Jan., 1986), 18 48 the latter, but this is, according to Korsgaard still a form of irrationality – a failure to be motivated by our rational considerations or being “’wilfully’ blind to them”. This irrationality may, in the words of the same autor, result from “self-deception, rationalization and the various forms of weakness of will”85. So to make a final conclusion – the nationalist imagery which Tamir claims can persuade citizens to adopt the the state as a ground project, is either inspiring some factual beliefs about the nature of the modern liberal state as a bearer of a tradition of a common good, or it is not raising any such beliefs but is doing its perssuasion on a purely irrational level. In the first case, the beliefs that it is inspiring are false and therefore the motive acquired on the bases of these false beliefs cannot provide the reason for one to sacrifice her life for it. In the second case, however, the ground project is again unable to provide one with this CEU eTD Collection reason since it is acquired on irrational bases. 85 Christine Korsgaard, 14 49 CONCLUSION Liberal order differs from the iliberal ones in that it allows citizens to freely choose their ends. These ends can be considered by others to be absurd, worthless, or even irrational, but as long as the person holding them does not infringe on other persons’ freedom, she has an unalianable right to pursue them. She can, to use the famous Rawlsian example, consider counting blades of grass to be a worthy goal, and it is not up to the state to dispute her opinion. There is no reason why it would be any different with a person holding the wellfare of the state as her end, even if she holds it so because she has certain false beliefs about its character. Such a person would have every right to pursue her end even is she considers that it includes sacrificing her life for it. There would be nothing inconsistent to liberal morality if the army would allow such a person to sign up for service, even though her reasons for signing up may not be the same as the reasons that the state has to allow her to do it. Also, there seems to be no inconsistancy in the liberal state persuading its citizens to voluntareely take part in the projects which further the public interest, such as volunteer work, or blood donning. Yael Tamir’s suggestion, however, goes one step further – she claims that the state has a right to use nationalist imagery in persuading people to choose the state as their end. This is, CEU eTD Collection as I have shown, an illegitimate step in two conected but still separate senses. First, I have shown that persons who adopt what...
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This note was uploaded on 02/06/2013 for the course ENGLISH LI 21 taught by Professor Han during the Fall '13 term at Tsinghua University.

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