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lPolitical Theory http://ptx.sagepub.com Two Concepts of Liberal Pluralism
George Crowder Political Theory 2007; 35; 121 DOI: 10.1177/0090591706297642 The online version of this article can be found at: http://ptx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/35/2/121

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Two Concepts of Liberal Pluralism
George Crowder
Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

Political Theory Volume 35 Number 2 April 2007 121-146 © 2007 Sage Publications 10.1177/0090591706297642 http://ptx.sagepub.com hosted at http://online.sagepub.com

Is the liberal state entitled to intervene in the internal affairs of its nonliberal minorities to promote individual autonomy as a public ideal, or should it tolerate the nonliberal practices of such groups in the name of legitimate diversity? This problem can be fruitfully approached from the perspective of Isaiah Berlin’s notion of “value pluralism.” According to William Galston, value pluralism privileges a form of liberalism that is maximally accommodating of nonliberal groups and their practices. I agree that pluralism fits best with a liberal political framework, but I depart from Galston’s interpretation of what liberal pluralism involves. Taking value pluralism seriously, I argue, implies a form of liberalism in which personal autonomy is a central public ideal. Keywords: liberalism; autonomy; toleration; value pluralism; William Galston; exit; diversity

Introduction: Diversity, Autonomy, and Value Pluralism
What view should liberals take of the internal practices of nonliberal religious and cultural minorities within liberal democracies? This issue has divided liberal opinion into two main camps. On one side, there are those who see liberalism as standing primarily for the autonomy of the individual person. Nonliberal groups that place serious restrictions on the autonomy of their members will on this view be liable to criticism and perhaps intervention by a liberal state. On the other side, there are those who identify liberalism with maximal toleration of the beliefs and practices of different social groups. This kind of liberal tends to regard the ideal of individual autonomy as too demanding a principle for liberal politics, since many nonliberal
Author’s Note: I wish to thank Mary Dietz and Political Theory’s anonymous readers for their excellent comments and advice. 121
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groups do not value that kind of personal freedom. To use the state to intervene in such groups to promote individual autonomy, or even to criticise them for their resistance to that ideal, is to fail in liberalism’s principal duty of group toleration. This debate raises fundamental issues in liberal political theory, and it has attracted a variety of contributions from leading theorists, in particular since the 1980s. Among the most significant of those contributions was the exchange between Will Kymlicka (pro-autonomy) and Chandran Kukathas (pro-toleration) in the early 1990s.1 The debate has also intersected with the dispute between the supporters of John Rawls’s “political” liberalism and their “comprehensive” opponents—by and large the political view has been associated with greater group toleration and the comprehensive approach with the defence of individual autonomy.2 I believe that fresh light can be cast on this familiar problem by looking at it from the perspective of value pluralism. This is the view, associated in particular with Isaiah Berlin, that human values, including at least some universals, are irreducibly multiple, frequently in conflict with one another, and sometimes incommensurable.3 At first sight, this may look like a recipe for further confusion, since many people assume that once we conceive of values as incommensurable with one another, we forgo any prospect of choosing rationally among them when they conflict. Consequently, it may seem that pluralism in this sense offers little hope of enabling us to adjudicate between the two liberalisms. This impression is easily refuted by reference to a substantial, sophisticated, and growing literature to the effect that value pluralism is compatible with practical reasoning. The broad consensus of that literature is that although incommensurable values cannot be brought within a single ranking that is correct for every case, there may still be good reason to accept a particular ranking or trade-off in a specific context.4 But if practical reasoning is possible under value pluralism, what are its political implications? One widespread tendency has been to align value pluralism with endorsement of group norms, whether these are liberal or nonliberal. In one prominent version, John Gray’s, this leads to a politics of modus vivendi, in which liberalism is at best only one cultural form among the many that must seek coexistence through compromise.5 Even where liberalism is seen as privileged by the value-pluralist approach, as in the work of William Galston, it has been assumed that this must be a liberalism that is maximally accommodating of nonliberal values and practices—that is, a toleration-based liberalism.6 I shall argue, on the contrary, that value pluralism generates arguments that decisively favour pro-autonomy liberalism over the liberalism of group

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toleration. In making this case, I focus in particular on the arguments presented by Galston, since he has brought together both of the above debates— concerning the two liberalisms and the implications of value pluralism—to a degree that is unusual in the literature. I agree with Galston that value pluralism fits best with a liberal rather than nonliberal political framework. However, I depart from Galston’s interpretation of what liberal pluralism involves, in particular taking issue with his rejection of personal autonomy as a policy goal of the liberal state and with his embracing of maximal group toleration. Taking value pluralism seriously, I argue, implies a strong case for a form of liberalism in which personal autonomy is a central ideal.7 I begin by setting out Galston’s position as an attempt to combine valuepluralist foundations with an insistence on the toleration of illiberal group practices. In the following two sections, I argue that the logic of this position tends away from the conclusions favoured by pro-toleration thinkers like Galston and toward the pro-autonomy view I advocate. This is true in two respects in particular. First, Galston’s argument follows the typical protoleration route of relying on a right of exit to protect the members of illiberal groups. Here I argue that such a right, to be effective, presupposes a capacity for personal autonomy. Second, Galston’s more distinctive argument is that value pluralism implies a commitment to cultural diversity, hence toleration of a range of nonliberal cultural practices. On this point, I show that what is required here is a diversity not merely among cultural groups but within them as well, which again brings with it a case for personal autonomy as a moral and political ideal. I then reinforce my case for individual autonomy with a further argument based on value pluralism, emphasising the link between the kind of choices that pluralism involves and the capacities necessary to make those choices well.

Galston’s Liberal Pluralism
In a widely read article published in 1995, Galston traced the historical emergence of “two concepts of liberalism.”8 Reformation liberalism, looking back to the Lockean response to the European wars of religion, takes as its central value the toleration of religious and cultural diversity. By contrast, Enlightenment liberalism, including in its pantheon the key figures of Kant and John Stuart Mill, sees the distinctive task of liberalism as the promotion of a specific vision of the human good, namely, that of the autonomous, or rationally self-directing, individual. Most of Galston’s readers took him to be championing the Reformation view, arguing for the

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priority of toleration over individual autonomy in the liberal schedule of values. More recently, he has distanced himself somewhat from that impression, writing that his intention was not to reject the Enlightenment view but rather to identify a “balance” between autonomy and toleration (PLP 183). Nevertheless, it is fair to say that Galston’s emphasis has always been rather more on the toleration side of this issue. He describes his goal as the “maximum feasible accommodation” of diverse ways of life within a liberal order and strongly objects to the “civic totalism” that would seek to enforce liberal public values within all groups (LP 20; PLP 23-24). In particular, Galston remains opposed to the promotion of a “Socratic/Millian” concept of individual autonomy as an ideal for liberal policy (LP 23; PLP 182).This ideal lies at the heart of the Enlightenment “commitment to sustained rational examination of self, others, and social practices” (LP 21). “The Enlightenment impulse” presupposes a particular, rationalist, and individualist understanding of the human good that is too exclusive of the legitimate cultural diversity to be found in a modern society. If liberals insist on promoting the ideal of individual autonomy in all spheres of society, they risk alienating “many citizens of goodwill” and creating opponents in place of allies (LP 26). The Reformation ideal, by contrast, is recommended by its realistic acknowledgement of the wide diversity of belief and practice within modern societies (LP 26). The central, guiding ideal of Galston’s liberal state is a presumption in favour of the “expressive liberty” of all citizens, meaning the absence of obstacles to “individuals and groups leading their lives as they see fit, within a broad range of legitimate variation, in accordance with their own understanding of what gives life meaning and value” (LP 3). Expressive liberty will be subject to the requirements of civic unity, but these requirements will be limited to the minimum necessary for the maintenance of public order. Galston’s liberal polity will be wary of imposing its public principles on the internal arrangements of groups within civil society, even where these maintain practices that are explicitly illiberal in character, such as arranged marriages, sexual discrimination, or indoctrinating forms of education (LP 20). For example, Galston supports the right of the Old Order Amish to forbid, on the ground of religious belief, access by Amish children to public high school education (LP 19, 104, 106, 121). “Expressive liberty,” he insists, “protects the ability of individuals and groups to live in ways that others would regard as unfree” (LP 29). Liberal standards would continue to apply in the public realm but need not be mirrored within civil associations. Not all ways of life are protected by the principle of expressive liberty, but the range of legitimate variation will be very wide.

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A recent development in Galston’s thought is that he now seeks to justify his position by appeal to Berlinian value pluralism. “Value pluralism” on Galston’s understanding is Berlin’s notion of the irreducible plurality and incommensurability of human goods, which opposes the idea of moral monism (LP 4-6; PLP chap. 2). Moral monism, at its most general, is the claim that all moral values can be embraced within a single system or formula that can be employed, in principle, to resolve all ethical problems. Such systems are dominated by one or a few supervalues that either override other goods in a hierarchical structure or serve as a common dominator by which all goods can be measured. One example of a monist moral system is utilitarianism, according to which utility, however understood, outranks or commensurates all values. On a monist view, moral decision making will be relatively unproblematic in principle, since the morally optimal action will always be that which subserves or maximises the relevant supervalue. Against monism, pluralists see moral values as “incommensurable” or “qualitatively heterogeneous,” and consequently not subject to any “comprehensive lexical orderings” (LP 5). Different goods are sometimes so distinct that each is its own measure, and none can be seen as outranking or serving as a common currency for all others in all cases. Some goods may be seen as more “basic” than others, “in the sense that they form part of any choiceworthy conception of a human life”—that is, they are universally valid (LP 6). These basic goods—examples may include liberty, equality, justice, courage—will override less basic goods where there is a conflict. But they will not invariably override other basic goods: when liberty conflicts with equality, we cannot say that either liberty or equality always comes first. Consequently, pluralism, in contrast with monism, contemplates the likelihood of many cases where moral decision making will be highly problematic, since there will be no absolute or universal ordering, such as that of utilitarianism, to which we can appeal for a solution. Utility (however defined) will be no more than one basic good on a par with others. Pluralism accounts for the possibility of genuine moral dilemmas, where no single solution is uniquely sanctioned by reason. This does not mean that conflicts among basic values can never be resolved rationally. Value pluralism implies that reasoned moral decision making is often hard, sometimes impossible, but not necessarily impossible. “Value pluralism,” Galston writes, “does not rule out the possibility of compelling (if nonalgorithmic) arguments for right answers in specific situations” (LP 35). Liberty does not override equality in the abstract, or in every case, but there may be stronger reasons to pursue liberty rather than equality (or vice versa) within a particular context. Indeed, Galston, recalling his

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experience of wrestling with clashes among plural considerations while he was working as an official in the Clinton administration, finds it “remarkable how often we could reach deliberative closure in the face of this heterogeneity” (LP 7). In this connection, he notes that value pluralism is not to be confused with relativism: “The distinction between good and bad, and between good and evil, is objective and rationally defensible” (LP 5). For pluralists, goods are not simply whatever individuals or groups believe to be good. There are objective goods, but these may conflict, and such conflicts cannot be resolved by simple monist formulas. According to Galston, the form of politics that fits best with a valuepluralist outlook is Reformation liberalism. Against antiliberal pluralists like John Gray and John Kekes, Galston argues that liberalism is maximally capable of accommodating the “expressive liberty” of the many ways of life that are worthy of respect according to a pluralist view. He presents several arguments for this claim, but the strongest is based on a link between pluralism and diversity. “If moral pluralism is the most nearly adequate depiction of the moral universe we inhabit, then the range of choiceworthy human lives is very wide. While some ways of life can be ruled out as violating minimum standards of humanity, most cannot. If so, then the zone of human agency protected by the norm of expressive liberty is capacious indeed” (LP 37). If values are plural and incommensurable, then many different general rankings will be valid as long as they pass a threshold of minimum decency. Such a wide range of legitimate ways of life is best accommodated by liberalism, with its stress on expressive liberty. Furthermore, these many ways of life will include some, like the Amish way of life, that are based on explicitly nonliberal beliefs hostile to individual autonomy. Value pluralism thus supports, according to Galston, a form of liberalism that is closer to Reformation-style toleration of diversity rather than to an autonomy-based Enlightenment liberalism.

No Exit Without Autonomy
The standard liberal objection to the kind of pro-group toleration view championed by Galston is that it allows nonliberal groups to oppress their own members. When the diversity accommodated by the liberal state includes practices hostile to individual autonomy, the result is less a “liberal archipelago” (as Kukathas puts it) than a “mosaic of tyrannies.”9 For example, the late Susan Okin notes that traditional, nonliberal cultures are typically patriarchal and that consequently women and children in such

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societies are especially vulnerable to norms that distort or circumscribe their free development.10 The standard defence against this objection appeals to a right of exit: individuals are sufficiently protected against intragroup oppression if they are free to leave the group. Thus, Galston argues that a liberal state may legitimately leave groups alone as long as it guarantees “enforceable rights of exit” (LP 104). But what does it mean to be free to exit a group? One answer, advanced by Kukathas, is that people are always free to leave their groups as long as they are not prevented from doing so by force.11 This is a strict negative liberty standard: all that counts is absence of coercion; whatever other obstacles there may be to action, they are irrelevant to “freedom.” Kukathas gives the example of Fatima, the Muslim wife of a Malay fisherman.12 She has no desire to leave her village community, since her identity is closely defined by her roles as wife, mother, and Muslim. Although Kukathas does not quite say so, it probably does not occur to Fatima even to imagine how her life might be otherwise than it is. Nevertheless, Kukathas insists, she is free to exit. The fact that she stays shows that she has “acquiesced” in her life. But whether or not she can be said to have chosen her fate, what matters for Kukathas is that she possesses the negative liberty to leave if she wished—no one is forcing her to stay. Most liberals will, rightly, be deeply dissatisfied with this view. The fact that no one is forcing Fatima to stay is consistent with her having no realistic prospect of leaving because of obstacles other than simple coercion.13 These include the costs that are often attached to exit, including economic and psychological costs, the risks of failure in the society into which one is exiting, lack of economic resources with which to make exit possible if one has decided in that direction, and (perhaps most significant for the present discussion) the kind of social conditioning that makes exit unimaginable in the first place. Okin, for example, emphasises the range of ways in which women and girls in particular can be prevented from leaving groups defined by allegiance to traditional patriarchal cultures. Women’s choices in these contexts are severely limited by lack of education, since girls are frequently thought less worthwhile educating than boys, and by damaging education designed to train girls to accept confining gender roles. Traditions of early or arranged or even forced marriage further restrict women’s choices in these groups, as do patterns of general socialisation that undermine women’s self-esteem while imposing on them the expectation that they will be the principal transmitters and perpetuators of the culture. The upshot is that, for many women in traditional cultures, the prospect of exit can be literally “unthinkable.”14 On this view, Fatima is free to exit only in the narrowest, most formal sense, on a level with the legendary freedom of the poor to dine at the Ritz.
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Galston agrees that genuine freedom to exit must be “more than formal”; it must mean that individuals have real choices when it comes to staying or going (LP 104). A group cannot legitimately claim that its members have a right of exit merely because the group refrains from coercion while effectively “disempowering” people from living outside the group. Groups may not legitimately keep their members within “a kind of mental and moral prison” (LP 105). But if that is so, doesn’t that mean that to count as genuinely free to exit, one must be empowered to do so—that is, one must have the positive capacity to overcome the various obstacles to exit listed above: informational, economic, and psychological? Crucially, it seems, real freedom of exit seems to involve the capacity to stand back from the group’s norms and to assess them critically—that is, the capacity for autonomous judgement. And if that were so, then Galston’s position would rely on a commitment to individual autonomy after all. Galston comes close to conceding this conclusion in some places. In one passage, he allows that a precondition for a genuine right of exit is that those who might claim this must not be “servile” in the face of their parents’, or the group’s, authority. He cites approvingly Eamonn Callan’s view that “as a parent, I cannot rightly mold my child’s character in a way that effectively preempts ‘serious thought at any future date about alternatives to my judgement’” (cited at LP 105). This is surely right. A person cannot be said to have a genuine right of exit if she is incapable of independent thought as a result of her upbringing. But then, it is hard to see how this kind of conditioning can be prevented short of encouraging the development in children of a form of character in which serious thought along these lines is possible and valued. And once again, it is hard to see how this can be anything less than a case for the facilitation of individual autonomy. Indeed, in the earlier article, Galston goes so far as to allow that protecting the capacity to exit against conditioning of this kind “brings us back some distance toward policies more typically associated with autonomy concerns.”15 At this point, however, Galston would argue that although a realistic right of exit does imply a capacity for autonomy, this need only be “a more modest conception of autonomy as freedom of choice” in contrast with “a Socratic/Millian ideal of autonomy, understood as rational reflection and self-creation” (PLP 182). This distinction is not developed by Galston, but a similar preference for a weaker rather than stronger form of autonomy can be found in several liberal thinkers. David Johnston, for example, distinguishes between “moral” and “personal” autonomy.16 Moral autonomy consists of a capacity to form and act on projects and values, together with a sense of justice, taking into account the interests of others; personal autonomy is self-definition in a stronger sense, involving the ability to
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subject one’s own projects, values, and sense of justice to critical reflection. Johnston argues that only moral autonomy is an essential ideal for a good society; personal autonomy, although desirable from a comprehensively liberal point of view, is too demanding to be a necessary goal of public policy because such a policy would assume that “a life of personal autonomy is intrinsically superior to relatively nonautonomous ways of life.”17 Similarly, Kwame Anthony Appiah distinguishes the “strong” autonomy of critical reflection from a more moderate “core” autonomy that involves “an availability of options, an endowment with minimum rationality, an absence of coercion,” declaring the latter to be an adequate ideal for liberal purposes while the former is “outlandishly exigent.”18 How can the defender of strong autonomy respond? First, what reply can be made to Johnston’s claim that a policy commitment to strong autonomy assumes the superiority of “a life of personal autonomy”? One possibility might be to distinguish between strong autonomy as a substantial end that is characteristic of a whole way of life and strong autonomy as a procedural entry point into a way of life that may itself not regard autonomy as especially valuable.19 As an example of substantial autonomy one may take J. S. Mill’s celebration of individuality as the life of energetic and restless selfcreation. An example of procedural autonomy is provided by those educated women who embrace Islamic traditions, such as the wearing of head scarves, as a result of conscious and considered reflection on their own identity.20 Procedural autonomy seems consistent with the equal valuation of lives that are not substantially autonomous, and it might be argued that this kind of autonomy is all that autonomy-based liberalism need insist on. I do not wish to rely on this argument, however. For one thing, the procedural-substantial distinction is a little too neat. Certainly, someone can decide autonomously to enter a heteronomous way of life: the armed forces, or religious orders, say. But for that decision to be made autonomously usually requires, in the first place, a social environment in which autonomy is at least minimally supported. Procedural autonomy, that is, may not be practicable outside of a context in which there is some degree of substantial autonomy. Later I shall argue, on pluralist grounds, that a stronger response to Johnston’s objection is that the substantially autonomous way of life is indeed superior, in a sense I shall explain. Second, is the ideal of personal autonomy really so outlandishly exigent? Appiah supposes that to support strong autonomy is to “assign us all to undertake a comprehensive assessment of norms and values,” thus confusing “the job description of the citizen with that of the moral theorist.”21 But to reflect critically on one’s options, or even on one’s life as a whole, is not necessarily to question everything at once. It is more likely to take the
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form of a piecemeal inquiry into how well a proposed course of action is likely to cohere with other aspects of one’s life, provisionally given.22 Of course, the latter may come to be revised in the light of the former, but that still need not amount to a Nietzschean project of total revaluation of all values. In this connection, Johnston concedes “the need for the members of any good society to possess some capacity to reexamine their own projects and values critically.”23 Without such a capacity, as Will Kymlicka points out, people cannot be said to be living their lives “from the inside”—that is, to be living lives that they really affirm as “their own.”24 Galston, with his emphasis on expressive liberty, should also accept this point. Third, even if a capacity for personal autonomy were not essential to a good life or a good liberal society in general, it might still be essential to a realistic freedom of exit. It is precisely at the point when a person is contemplating transferring her cultural allegiances, one might argue, that she most needs to be able to step back from her current identifications (at least some of them) in order either to reaffirm or revise them. In the absence of evidence that Fatima, for example, can do this, she cannot be said to possess real freedom to exit. Ironically, then, one might argue that it is those theorists who rely most heavily on exit rights who thereby rely most heavily (despite their claims to the contrary) on the capacity for personal autonomy. Conversely, part of the reason why writers like Appiah and Johnston place less emphasis on strong autonomy is that they place less emphasis on the need for freedom to exit. But then, need for a right of exit is not the only reason we should support personal autonomy as an ethical and political ideal. Okin, for example, argues that a realistic right of exit is only a necessary, not a sufficient, condition for genuine freedom. “Rights of exit provide no help to women or members of other oppressed groups who are deeply attached to their cultures but not to their oppressive aspects.”25 For the claim to be plausible that the members of such groups—or any groups—are genuinely living in accordance with “their own understanding” of what gives life meaning, there must be more options open to them than either exit or uncritical conformity. There must, in addition, be room for dissent. In the terms introduced by Albert Hirschman, there must be the possibility not only of exit but also of “voice.”26 This point connects with the value of diversity, which I examine next.

Value Pluralism and Diversity
Might pro-toleration liberalism be based on the idea of value pluralism? Recall that Gaston’s basic claim here is that if value pluralism is true, then

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values may legitimately be ranked in many different ways—that is, pluralism implies a commitment to respect for a wide diversity of ways of life. Furthermore, that kind of diversity is best accommodated by liberalism, in particular by toleration-based liberalism. I shall now show that Galston is broadly correct to link value pluralism with diversity, and diversity with liberalism, but also that his arguments here need reinforcement and adjustment. When the reinforcements have been added and the adjustments made, it turns out that the kind of liberalism that fits best with pluralist diversity is autonomy based rather than toleration based. Once again, the logic of pro-toleration reasoning actually leads in a pro-autonomy direction.

From Pluralism to Diversity
The argument from value pluralism to liberalism by way of diversity can be divided into two principal moves: from pluralism to diversity and from diversity to liberalism. First consider Galston’s argument from the fact of value pluralism to the valuing of cultural diversity within a single political society. An immediate objection might be that this argument breaches Hume’s law, according to which claims of value cannot be derived logically from claims of fact.27 This is a weak objection. The “fact” of value pluralism can be understood as the claim that there are, in fact, multiple goods that contribute, objectively, to human well-being—that is, the notion of value pluralism may be understood as a set of normative claims.28 The argument is not from is to ought but from ought to ought. There is, however, a stronger objection to Galston’s argument from pluralism to diversity. The deep plurality of values does seem to imply, as he suggests, that there are many legitimate ways of combining these, hence many legitimate ways of life. But is that sufficient for us to conclude, as Galston does, that we ought to accommodate not just one or a few of these within a single polity, but as many as possible? After all, it is a commonplace of the pluralist outlook that, as Bernard Williams points out, some values may “become very pale in too much pluralistic company”: to promote some ways of life may be to diminish others.29 Galston’s reply is essentially that, even if there are gains and losses of goods in any social pattern, some societies do distinctly better than others (although not measurably so) at accommodating or encouraging the natural “diversity of human types” (LP 59). Relatively “narrow-valued” societies like ancient Sparta, for example, will realise the potentialities of only a few of their inhabitants, while “the rest will be pinched and stunted to some degree.” By contrast, “to the maximum extent possible in human affairs, liberal societies avoid this stunting of human lives” (LP 60).

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I am sympathetic with this argument, but it seems to me incomplete. Someone might reply that since there must be some selection of the human types and ways of life to be encouraged in any society, why should that selection not concentrate on one or a few options—perhaps those hallowed by local tradition, or even those chosen by a dictator—rather than as many as possible?30 Although there may be a wide diversity of human types by nature, it remains up to us to decide how to respond to that diversity. Galston’s view needs to be reinforced by a principle that might be called respect for plurality. Value pluralism is the idea that there are many objective and intrinsic goods—that is, goods that are valuable for their own sake as components of human well-being. Each of these goods makes its own unique claim on us, requiring our respect. Since none of these goods is inherently superior to any other, we should in that sense respect them all equally.31 Therefore, when it comes to pursuing goods, all are equally worth pursuing, and we should pursue them all, as far as we can do so in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. In principle, then, pluralism commits us to the promotion of as many goods as possible in a given situation—that is, pluralism generates a principle of maximum diversity. This idea is captured by Bernard Williams, who writes, “If there are many and competing genuine values, then the greater the extent to which a society tends to be single-valued, the more genuine values it neglects or suppresses. More, to this extent, must mean better.”32 Roughly speaking, it is generally better that a society embrace a greater rather than narrower range of values. The principle of maximum diversity is subject to an important qualification. I say that a society ought prima facie to promote more rather than fewer goods, because for pluralists, the goal of diversity cannot be a simple matter of maximising a quantity of goods whatever the circumstances. For one thing, pluralists cannot accept that there is any common measure according to which different goods can be quantified. Furthermore, to respect a good is not always to promote it, because there will never be enough social space in which to pursue in practice all the goods we wish to honour in principle.33 This may be because of lack of time or resources, or it may be that certain goods conflict with one another as a matter of necessity—as when someone cannot simultaneously enjoy the benefits of single life and married life. The goal of value diversity, then, should be understood in terms of a tolerably coherent package of values that can be judged to express a greater range of human goods, overall, than the alternatives. The comparison will not be precisely measurable but rather a matter of judgement. Judgement need not invoke measurement, and moral and political judgements are, by and large, cases in point. Quantification is not required, for example, for Galston’s

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judgement that a less diverse package of goods was promoted by ancient Sparta than is promoted by contemporary liberal societies.

Diversity of What? Regimes, Cultures, and Goods
So far, then, there is a link between value pluralism and a normative commitment to maximum diversity within a single society. But what about the next step in the argument: from diversity to liberalism? John Gray, for example, accepts that pluralism implies the valuing of cultural diversity but denies that this is best promoted by containment within a liberal state.34 Liberal states inevitably promote liberal ways of life within their borders, at best marginalising, at worst undermining nonliberal ways of life. Rather, the cultural diversity indicated by pluralism is best served, Gray believes, by a diversity of political communities, some of which are liberal, some not. Liberalism is merely one valid political form among others, appropriate for those cultures that privilege distinctively liberal goods but inappropriate for others. Again, though, liberal pluralists can concede that liberalism has its costs in terms of goods and ways of life forgone but still insist that it imposes fewer such costs than the alternatives. Modern liberal democracies are not accommodating of all forms of life equally, but they do better in this respect than Sparta. Galston is therefore on strong ground when he argues that the pluralist concern for moral diversity is best satisfied by liberal democracies. But will this be a toleration-based liberalism? Galston’s reason for supporting this interpretation is that “from a value-pluralist standpoint, there are many valuable ways of life, individual and collective, that are not autonomous in the sense that they are not the product of conscious reflection and choice but, rather, of habit, tradition, authority, or unswerving faith” (LP 49). The range of lives that count as legitimate and valuable under pluralism includes many in which individual autonomy is not valued. Two main replies to this are possible. First, Galston’s argument here cuts both ways. It is true that some ways of life do not value individual autonomy, but these same ways of life generally have little time for the negative liberty or freedom of choice that tends to be favoured by the advocates of toleration-based liberty either. Second, and more importantly, a case for individual autonomy is also implicit in Galston’s commitment to diversity itself. His reply to Gray is, in effect, that pluralists must care about diversity not only among political communities but within them as well. The diversity celebrated by value pluralists suggests the desirability not so much of multiple types of political regime, as advocated by Gray, since many

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such regimes will be inhospitable to cultural difference. Rather, pluralism points to those political regimes that are capable of accommodating multiple ways of life. Consequently, pluralist diversity cannot be promoted through the serial political chauvinism celebrated by Gray; rather, it requires political societies that are prepared to embrace a form of liberal multiculturalism.35 But here we should take Galston’s own logic a step further. If pluralism implies the valuing of diversity among cultures within political societies, then why should it not imply the valuing of diversity within cultures too? Shouldn’t pluralist diversity be diversity not merely of states (Gray), nor merely of cultures within states (Galston), but of internally diverse cultures? If so, it might then be argued that internally diverse cultures will tend to be liberal cultures; furthermore, that they will tend to be liberal cultures based on personal autonomy. The kind of liberalism that, on the logic of Galston’s own view, most adequately promotes diversity will be Enlightenment liberalism. Why and in what sense must the cultures within a pluralist polity be internally diverse? Here we should take note of a fundamental point that is widely underappreciated in the literature of value pluralism and certainly not adequately acknowledged by either Gray or Galston: the notion of value pluralism is primarily a notion of the plurality and incommensurability of goods, not of ways of life.36 This must be so, because if it were primarily cultures that were incommensurable, there would be nothing to distinguish value pluralism from cultural relativism. Pluralism, as a distinctive position, points to a deep plurality of value that cuts across cultural difference; conflicts among incommensurable goods can occur as easily within cultures as among them. Indeed, on the distinctively pluralist view, cultures, unlike goods, cannot be wholly incommensurable because they all overlap within the admittedly wide but nevertheless finite “human horizon” or “limits of humanity.”37 This does not mean that pluralists should deny the fact or the value of cultural diversity altogether; on the contrary, pluralists should indeed value cultural diversity. But they should do so only to the extent that this follows from, and is subordinate to, their primary concern, which is respect for the diversity of human goods. What makes cultures valuable on this view is that people will interpret and pursue the same goods in different ways in different contexts, giving rise to a diversity of value patterns that should, prima facie, be respected. But a natural limit to the value of cultures from a value-pluralist perspective is set by the extent to which they fail to promote value diversity internally. A political society is culturally diverse when its members are genuinely able to pursue a multiplicity of ways of life. Similarly, a culture is internally diverse when its members are genuinely able to pursue a multiplicity of
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goods and personal projects, either interpreting the culture in new or different ways, or transforming it. The result will be a multiplicity of individual personality types or characters. Indeed, it is at this intracultural level that Galston’s picture of a society that encourages a diversity of human types comes most sharply into view. On Galston’s own account, this is a diversity not merely of cultural types but of individual talents and potentialities. Consequently, his justified concern that such potentialities ought not to be wasted by narrow-valued societies should apply equally to narrowvalued cultures within broader societies. Galston’s own definition of diversity refers to “legitimate differences among individuals and groups” (LP 21), but his focus on groups tends to obscure what ought to be a prior concern for individuals. One can take this line of argument further still: legitimate and valuable diversity may apply not only among individuals but within them as well. As Michael Sandel argues, we may think of a single human being as containing “a plurality of selves” in the sense of competing identities corresponding to the different talents and potentialities that people usually possess.38 “True diversity,” writes Emily Gill, “requires, then, the imagination necessary to make use of the range of available options. These must be available within the culture. . . . But they must also be available within the individual, as it were, in the sense of becoming real possibilities that we can imagine as defining our identities.”39 A diverse culture, in these terms, is one that makes room for, and empowers, a range of personal projects and character types, but also one that enables its members to explore some range of these as real options within a single life. Plato acknowledged individual differences but insisted on matching each person with a single correct social slot. Liberal pluralists who wish to maximise diversity within a single polity should support individuals who want to experiment with multiple lines of self-development. A diverse culture, one that does justice to the variety of human goods, talents, and personalities, must be one in which individual liberty has a prominent place. But individual liberty in what sense? Similar considerations apply here to those already canvassed in connection with realistic rights of exit. To be genuinely able to strike out on one’s own path requires freedom from coercion (negative liberty) and access to any necessary material resources (effective freedom), but also, and crucially, the capacity for critical reflection on the conventions of one’s own culture—that is, individual autonomy. Pluralist diversity is optimally satisfied by a society that accommodates multiple ways of life, each of which allows its individual members to pursue and develop a variety of goods, virtues, and personal projects. In such a society, different people will be brought up in different ways of life, but they will be genuinely free to interpret those ways of life in their own way. For such an ideal to be
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realised, a capacity for individual autonomy is an essential prerequisite. What this amounts to is taking seriously the value-pluralist principle of respect for plurality: the injunction to maximise the range of goods that people can pursue within a single society. It also satisfies Galston’s own ideal of “expressive liberty,” the freedom to live in accordance with “one’s own understanding of what gives life meaning” (my emphasis). Indeed, the autonomy view takes this more seriously than does Galston’s group-toleration view, which allows “one’s own understanding” to be equated with that of a group, or (more likely) a group’s dominant voices. To sum up: Value pluralism does suggest a principle of maximum diversity, but this applies at several levels. Gray’s diversity of political societies is rightly superseded by Galston’s insistence on cultural diversity within political societies. But cultural diversity, in turn, is subordinate to a diversity of goods, which brings with it an intracultural concern for a multiplicity of individual projects, talents, and characters, and even of potentialities within the individual. The pluralist requirement that political societies be culturally diverse points to liberalism, as Galston shows. The further requirement that the constituent cultures themselves be internally diverse points to autonomy-based liberalism.

Conflicting Goods, Hard Choices, and the Capacity for Personal Autonomy
So far I have argued that a case for autonomy-based liberalism can be made by following through the arguments of pro-toleration liberals, like Galston, to their logical conclusion. I want now to reinforce my overall case for individual autonomy by exploring another route to liberalism from value pluralism, a route not considered by Galston. This can be roughly summarised as follows: pluralism imposes hard choices on us where incommensurable values conflict, and to cope well with those choices, we need to be capable of reasoned critical reflection—that is, personal autonomy.40 But why, it will be asked, should we respond autonomously to the choices pluralism imposes on us? Why, in the face of conflicting incommensurables, should we not just as well decide arbitrarily, or randomly, or in accordance with a rule or tradition that is not itself questioned? To answer this, we need to look more closely at the distinctive kind of choice involved where the conflicting goods are incommensurable. Two features are especially important. First, such a choice calls for a reasoned rather than arbitrary response. To cope well with a choice among deeply plural goods is to choose for a good reason. But again, why should we be committed to reason here? Why not say
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that from a pluralist point of view rational choice is itself merely one value among others and that one may equally cope with pluralist choice by plumping arbitrarily among the alternatives? The answer refers to the principle of respect for plurality introduced earlier. If value pluralism is true, then many goods make a genuine contribution to human well-being, and we must take all of these seriously. In particular cases some of these goods will conflict, and we shall have to choose among them. But even when we choose against a good, we should, on the pluralist view, recognise that the good we forgo is still valuable. Its loss is a real one, even though we have made the best possible decision in the circumstances—this aspect of the pluralist outlook accounts for the element of tragedy in some moral choices, where the good forgone is important. It follows that, at least in cases where the values at stake are significant, pluralist choice should not be merely arbitrary or casual. If these are genuine human goods, we must not be indifferent to them, even when we have to choose against them. To respect those goods we choose against is to choose against them only for a good reason. Consequently, choices among such goods call for a reasoned response in which we should try to think about what particular package of goods is desirable and coherent in the particular case before us. To take plural values seriously is to be committed to practical reasoning.41 Granted the need for practical reasoning, the next question is, Why should this involve the critical reflection that is essential to personal autonomy? Why should we not rest content with thinking about the best means of pursuing ends that are uncritically received from conventional rules or traditions? The requirement for critical reflection is the second feature of pluralist choice that I want to emphasise. Conflicts among incommensurable goods cannot be decided for good reason merely by the mechanical application of conventional rules, because these tend to rest on monist assumptions. Utilitarianism, for example, elevates utility (however defined) to the status of supervalue, overriding or commensurating all other goods. But under pluralism this can be no more than one proposal among others. The rational pluralist cannot rely on utilitarianism or any other ready-made monist procedure to resolve deep moral conflicts but must go behind such perspectives to weigh for herself the values they embody. Nor, contrary to the conservative view of John Kekes, can pluralists answer such questions merely by appealing to the authority of local tradition.42 Traditionalism is really another name for cultural relativism, which I agreed with Galston in distinguishing from value pluralism. A further reason for pluralists to question the authority of tradition focuses on the fact of widespread reasonable disagreement concerning the content of the good life or human well-being.43 This is, of course, especially evident in modern societies,
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but on the pluralist view the problem is rooted in the moral experience of humanity at large. For pluralists, reasonable disagreement concerning the good life is a permanent possibility in all human societies because of the deep structure of human value. Traditional and other conceptions of the good life are essentially generalised rankings of incommensurable values. Although I have argued that pluralists should not accept that all such conceptions are automatically on a moral par, it is nevertheless true that the wide range of genuine human goods implies a wide range of legitimate permutations of those goods—that is, of reasonable rankings. Concerning these there is consequently room for people to disagree on reasonable grounds. Pluralists cannot resolve the deepest value conflicts simply by citing a local or personal conception of the good, because under pluralism, these are subject to reasonable, therefore permanent, disagreement. Where the nature of the good life is subject to reasonable disagreement, conceptions of the good cannot be permanent bases for decision but must be subject to revision themselves and to balancing with other such conceptions. That kind of decision is possible only through the exercise of personal autonomy. The foregoing amounts to a distinctive line of argument from value pluralism to the recognition of individual autonomy as a human good of especial importance. Pluralism is a thesis about the deep structure of values in human experience at large, across all cultures and periods. If pluralism is true, the moral experience of all human beings will include choices among incommensurable values. These are difficult choices that call for autonomous judgement if they are to be made well—that is, they call for critically reflective judgement in accordance with norms of practical rationality implicit in the concept of pluralism itself. The capacity for personal autonomy therefore contributes, on a pluralist view, to the good life for any human being. Human lives are likely to go better to the extent that those living them are able to choose critically and wisely when they are confronted by choices among conflicting goods. To say that on a pluralist view personal autonomy is a human good “of especial importance” is not to say that autonomy is overriding—that is, that it trumps all other goods in all cases. The claim that there is a single overriding good or narrow set of goods is, of course, the distinguishing feature of ethical monism. But my view does not violate the pluralist injunction against monism, because it does not demand that individual autonomy be accepted as a trump in every case. Although I place a general emphasis on the importance of individual autonomy, I do not deny the possibility of cases where autonomy appropriately yields to rival considerations, such as urgency or security or the demands of personal relationships. On the pluralist view, there can be no moral absolutes, but pluralists can recognise
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rules or principles that apply not absolutely but generally. Berlin, for example, believes that pluralism implies a stress on the value of negative liberty, a stress sufficient to impart a broadly liberal shape to a society’s institutions. But he does “not wish to say that individual freedom is, even in the most liberal societies, the sole, or even the dominant, criterion of social action.”44 There may sometimes be good reason to subordinate liberty to other values, such as “equality, or justice, or happiness, or security, or public order.”45 Galston offers useful guidance in this regard when he argues that pluralism is compatible with “powerful but rebuttable presumptions”—rules that apply across a wide range of cases, but that can be overridden in particular circumstances. “Rights,” for example, “have great moral weight, but they do not function as trumps in every shuffle of the deck” (LP 77). A similar claim can be made for individual autonomy. What about the role of the state? If personal autonomy is an element of the best human lives, it appears that, at a minimum, the state ought not to prevent or discourage its citizens from being autonomous. But this is only a minimum; there is good reason to expect more of the state than this. Indeed, even if nonprevention of autonomy is the criterion, there is reason to doubt that this standard can be met by noninterference alone. This point parallels my earlier discussion of exit rights, where I argued that realistic exit rights require, in addition to negative liberty, effective freedom and personal autonomy. Mere noninterference with the processes by which personal autonomy emerges amounts, in effect, to shutting many people out of the possibility of autonomy, because individual autonomy is effectively discouraged by the conformist environments created by illiberal groups. Nor is the mere presence of a liberal society outside the walls of an illiberal group sufficient to make autonomy a real possibility for many of the group’s members, since such groups typically have effective means of insulating themselves from outside influences. Galston allows this point implicitly when he defends Amish resistance to public education and then qualifies that defence with the right of exit. If the methods of the Amish were not effective at insulating their members from the liberal world outside, there would be no point either in defending those methods or in insisting on realistic rights of exit. The capacity for autonomous judgement does not emerge in people automatically; rather, it requires certain conditions, including access to resources, and education in how to reflect critically on available options. These conditions will not be met by illiberal groups themselves, and they will be distributed only very unevenly through the free market. Consequently, their likeliest guarantor will be the state. The pluralist case for personal autonomy as a central human good flows into a case for a liberal state that is entitled to promote that capacity in its citizens.46
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Dilemmas, Heteronomy, Truth, and Intervention
My position is bound to attract objections. I shall consider four. First, it might be argued that value pluralism is not always encouraging to practical reasoning. Some conflicts among incommensurables cannot be resolved rationally, in which case reasoned critical reflection is irrelevant (PLP 190). To the extent that this is true, it is as much of a problem for the pro-toleration view as for mine. Such a view depends as much as mine does on the possibility that pluralism does not rule out reason giving entirely, since only then can a reasoned defence of any political position be offered. Galston, as we have seen, takes the sensible line that while pluralism may lead to rationally insoluble dilemmas in some cases, it is compatible with reasoned resolutions in others. But then, in those cases where reasoning is possible, it may be more or less critically reflective. I have argued that it ought generally to be more critically reflective rather than less. Furthermore, even in those cases where a rational resolution is not possible, autonomy may have a role, since we shall still have to think for ourselves to identify which cases fall under that description. Overall, I do not claim that individual autonomy solves all problems, only that it is a necessary tool in coping well with those problems that can be solved. Second, it may be objected that my view is unduly dismissive of heteronomous ways of life. As Galston puts it, pluralism “does not insist that all valid ways of life must reflect choice” but allows that “many lives based on habit, tradition, or faith fall within the wide range of legitimacy” (PLP 190). A preliminary issue is whether such ways of life really exclude the capacity for personal autonomy altogether. Critical reflection need not be wholly absent from military or monastic lives, for example. But even to the extent that such lives are genuinely nonautonomous, I do not claim that they are not valid. I claim only that they are lacking in a human value of especial importance and that where whole societies are structured in this way, such societies are less likely to be successful or satisfying overall. Galston writes that “value pluralism distinguishes between permitted and forbidden ways of life”—that is, between those above and those below a threshold of minimal respect for universal values (PLP 190). But the recognition of generic universal values is not the only ethical message of pluralism. The ethical implications of pluralism include the basic principle of respect for the full range of human values, from which follow the case for value diversity (partly accepted by Galston) and the case for personal autonomy. Diversity and autonomy then become criteria for comparing and judging alternative ways of life. Galston himself explains how more diverse societies do better than more restrictive societies at releasing the natural “diversity of human types.” Similarly, a way of life in which personal autonomy is encouraged is better from a pluralist point of view than one in
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which personal autonomy is stifled or neglected. The autonomy-friendly way of life releases more of a society’s potential for diversity and makes its members better prepared for the hard choices that inevitably confront them. None of this means that the nonautonomous way of life is simply invalid. All human societies above the threshold of minimal morality will have something valuable to offer.47 A society that does not value autonomy may be rich in other goods, and from a pluralist point of view these must be respected. My point is that, on a pluralist view, such a society lacks a value of exceptional (although not overriding) significance, one that is essential to the making of good choices when incommensurable goods conflict—that is, choices that give the full range of human values their due. Indeed, a society that is lacking in this respect is likely, as a consequence, to be less satisfactory overall. That is because it is less likely to get the most out of the options available to it and out of its own human resources. It is less likely to maximise its internal value diversity and to encourage its members to develop their potential. A third objection to my position might be that I am insisting “that all individuals live their lives as consciously aware and committed value pluralists. . . . It is one thing to say that X is true, another to say that truth is good, yet another to say that truth is the highest good, or some sort of deontological side-constraint on legitimate ways of life” (PLP 190). In reply, I certainly do not claim that truth is “the highest good,” since pluralism does not recognise an overriding good. I do, however, claim that truth, like practical reason, is an especially important good under pluralism, on Galston’s model of a value that attracts a strong rebuttable presumption in its favour. Galston speculates that this claim assumes that only if people accept pluralism do they have a reason to be tolerant, and he responds that this concern is misplaced because “there are many roads to tolerance” (PLP 190). I agree that pluralism is not the only route to that desirable destination. Powerful cases for toleration can be found in some monist thinkers, such as Mill, whose liberal-utilitarian monism is complex in content and qualified by a healthy scepticism. My reason for valuing truth as an especially weighty good under pluralism is that truth and practical reasoning are intimately linked, and that both connect with the idea of respect for value plurality. To take seriously the full range of human values is to appreciate and acknowledge those things that are truly valuable to human well-being. As Bernard Williams writes, “One who properly recognises the plurality of values is one who understands the deep and creative role that these various values can play in human life.”48 It is only to the extent that we are aware of the truth of pluralism—that is, of the content and the deep plurality of human goods—that we are in a position to think effectively about what combination of goods we should pursue in a particular case. Again, a way of life that does not acknowledge that truth will no doubt exhibit other goods. It
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will, though, as in the case of personal autonomy, be lacking in an especially valuable good, one that is essential to good practical reasoning under pluralism, and therefore an important contributor to human well-being. Finally, it may be objected that a commitment to encouraging individual autonomy as a public policy ideal will cause the state to intrude too much into the internal affairs of groups whose norms are not liberal. In this connection, Galston cites with approval Kukathas’s complaint against Kymlicka, whose insistence that group rights be circumscribed by a concern for civil liberties and individual autonomy is said to lead to the society’s being “drawn down the path of interfering with groups that do not accept these values” (LP 21). My answer is, first, that a consistently liberal-pluralist state must be prepared to defend the values of diversity and personal autonomy, against the norms of its minority illiberal groups if necessary, for the reasons I have already given. Value pluralism is not relativism; on the contrary, it implies principles that can be used to criticise the practices of cultural and other groups. Second, however, this critical potential in the liberal-pluralist outlook need not translate into policies that are excessively intrusive. For one thing, I am not proposing that the state promote liberal values within groups whose membership is plainly voluntary, like sports clubs or organizations with limited and specific purposes. In these cases, freedom of exit is sufficient, and usually readily available. Rather, I am concerned with those groups, including cultural and religious groups, whose norms tend to pervade a person’s whole life, making exit (and voice) more problematic. Moreover, as Kymlicka points out, heavy-handed prohibitions are unlikely to be the most prudent means of promoting personal autonomy and indeed will often be counterproductive.49 More positive and subtle approaches, such as the provision of attractive alternatives or incentives, are more in keeping with the spirit of liberal pluralism and may well be more effective in any case.

Conclusion: The Return of the Individual
I have argued that a case for autonomy-based liberalism can be constructed along two lines: first, by following to its logical conclusion the typical pro-toleration reliance on a right of exit; second, by tracing the implications of value pluralism. It might be thought that, on a value-pluralist view, the conflict between the two liberalisms comes down in the end to a conflict between two basic values that are incommensurable with one another: toleration of group diversity on one hand and promotion of individual autonomy on the other. In that case, is it not a mistake to argue, as I have, that in this conflict individual autonomy ought to have a general (even if not absolute or
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overriding) priority? Galston perhaps has this thought in mind when he floats the idea that, rather than deciding for one kind of liberalism over the other, we ought to be trying to strike a balance between them. In principle, the idea of striking a balance between group toleration and individual autonomy is reasonable, but of course it begs the question of what that balance should be. The balance struck by the group-toleration case exemplified by thinkers like Galston and Kukathas is too skewed in favour of the group against the individual. In its concern to respect claims made in the name of some minority groups within liberal democracies, it has lost sight of the traditional liberal concern for the ultimate human minority, the individual person. My interpretation of liberal pluralism recovers the claims of the individual against the group but still leaves room for people to live in accordance with nonliberal norms if that is what they really want for themselves. The key requirement that the person be capable of autonomous judgement serves as both a protection for the individual and a conduit for the survival of groups whose members genuinely see the group’s norms as reflecting their own deepest convictions. In this way, I believe my conclusion is actually more faithful than Galston’s to his own principle of expressive liberty. I do not deny that my solution has costs. The introduction of even a relatively moderate form of personal autonomy into some groups may lead to substantial changes. But change is not necessarily destruction. Moreover, for the value pluralist, no system is without costs. Pluralists must accept that any political framework will be informed by some general ranking of values and that any such ranking will tend to emphasise some goods at the expense of others. The only question is how far a proposed ranking answers to fundamental pluralist concerns. These concerns include group diversity, but this must be a diversity of groups that are themselves internally diverse. Furthermore, to live in a group that is internally diverse is inevitably to be faced with choices among incommensurable values, choices that are best made by those who are capable of the critical reflection characteristic of strong personal autonomy.

Notes
1. Chandran Kukathas, “Are There Any Cultural Rights?,” Political Theory 20 (1992): 10539; Will Kymlicka, “The Rights of Minority Cultures: Reply to Kukathas,” Political Theory 20 (1992): 140-46. See also Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995); idem, Politics in the Vernacular: Nationalism, Multiculturalism, and Citizenship (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001); idem, Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), chap. 8; and Kukathas, The Liberal Archipelago: A Theory of Diversity and Freedom (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).

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2. Rawls’s “political” approach is set out in Political Liberalism (New York: Columbia University, 1993) and notably supported by Charles Larmore, The Morals of Modernity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), chap. 6, and by Martha Nussbaum, Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000); idem, Frontiers of Justice (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, Harvard, 2006). “Comprehensive” liberals include Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship, and Joseph Raz, The Morality of Freedom (Oxford: Clarendon, 1986); idem, “Multiculturalism: A Liberal Perspective,” in Ethics in the Public Domain: Essays in the Morality of Law and Politics (Oxford: Clarendon, 1995). 3. See, in particular, Isaiah Berlin, “Introduction,” and “Two Essays on Liberty,” in Liberty, ed. H. Hardy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002); idem, “The Pursuit of the Ideal,” in The Crooked Timber of Humanity, ed. H. Hardy (London: John Murray, 1990); idem, “My Intellectual Path,” in The Power of Ideas, ed. H. Hardy (London: Chatto & Windus, 2000). I shall refer to this view as either value pluralism or pluralism interchangeably. 4. See Berlin, ibid.; Isaiah Berlin and Bernard Williams, “Pluralism and Liberalism: A Reply,” Political Studies 42 (1994): 306-9; Martha Nussbaum, Love’s Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), chap. 2; Henry S. Richardson, Practical Reasoning about Final Ends (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); Ruth Chang, ed., Incommensurability, Incomparability, and Practical Reason (Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1997). 5. John Gray, Two Faces of Liberalism (Cambridge: Polity, 2000). 6. William Galston, Liberal Pluralism: The Implications of Value Pluralism for Political Theory and Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002); idem, The Practice of Liberal Pluralism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005): referenced hereafter, in both text and notes, as LP and PLP, respectively. 7. I shall not argue here for the truth of value pluralism, since this is common ground between Galston and me. For arguments in favour of a pluralist view of morality, see the references in notes 3-6 above; also John Kekes, The Morality of Pluralism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993); and George Crowder, Liberalism and Value Pluralism (London and New York: Continuum, 2002), chap. 2. 8. Galston, “Two Concepts of Liberalism,” Ethics 105 (1995): 516-34; revised in Liberal Pluralism, chap. 2. 9. Leslie Green, “Internal Minorities and Their Rights,” in W. Kymlicka, ed., The Rights of Minority Cultures (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 270. 10. Susan Okin, Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?, ed. J. Cohen, M. Howard, and M. Nussbaum (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999). 11. Kukathas, Liberal Archipelago, 103-14. 12. Ibid., 113. 13. For a leading account of obstacles to exit beyond simple coercion, see Brian Barry, Culture and Equality (Cambridge: Polity, 2001), 150-51. 14. Susan Okin, “‘Mistresses of Their Own Destiny’: Group Rights, Gender, and Realistic Rights of Exit,” Ethics 112 (2002): 205-30, at 222. 15. Galston, “Two Concepts of Liberalism,” 534. 16. David Johnston, The Idea of a Liberal Theory (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 71-77. 17. Ibid., 98. 18. Kwame Anthony Appiah, The Ethics of Identity (Princeton: Princeton University Press), 40. 19. Versions of this distinction can be found in Gerald Dworkin, The Theory and Practice of Autonomy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 18, 104-8; Harry Brighouse,

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School Choice and Social Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 80-82; and Rob Reich, Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2002), 95, 102. 20. Seyla Benhabib, The Claims of Culture: Equality and Diversity in the Global Era (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), 94-100. 21. Appiah, Ethics of Identity, 51. 22. Richardson, Practical Reasoning about Final Ends, sec. 22. 23. Johnston, Idea of a Liberal Theory, 98. 24. Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship, 81. 25. Okin, “‘Mistresses of Their Own Destiny,’” 226-27. 26. Albert O. Hirschman, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States (Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1970). 27. Isaiah Berlin and Beata Polonowska-Sygulska, Unfinished Dialogue (Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2006), 295-96. 28. On this point I adopt Nussbaum’s neo-Aristotelian account of plural universals as components of the human good in preference to the view of moral universals given by Berlin, who stresses a “quasi-empirical” notion of shared human values as those goods that have, in fact, been valued by most societies over long stretches of time. Compare Nussbaum, Women and Human Development, chap. 2, with Berlin, Liberty, 45, and Ramin Jahanbegloo, Conversations with Isaiah Berlin (London: Peter Halban, 1992), 37. 29. Bernard Williams, “Introduction” to I. Berlin, Concepts and Categories: Philosophical Essays, ed. H. Hardy (London: Hogarth, 1978), xvii. 30. See John Gray, who argues that authoritarian regimes are compatible with value pluralism as long as their claims to validity are only local rather than universalist: Isaiah Berlin (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), 151-52. 31. This does not, of course, mean that these goods are measurably equal, or otherwise commensurable, only that they are equally to be respected or “equally ultimate,” in Berlin’s phrase: Liberty, 213. 32. Williams, “Introduction,” xvii. 33. Rawls, Political Liberalism, 57 note. 34. Gray, Isaiah Berlin; idem, Two Faces of Liberalism; also Enlightenment’s Wake: Politics and Culture at the Close of the Modern Age (London and New York: Routledge, 1995). 35. For a more detailed critique of Gray, see George Crowder, “Gray and the Politics of Pluralism,” Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 9 (2006): 171-88. Gray replies at 325-39. 36. Crowder, Liberalism and Value Pluralism, 126-27; idem, Isaiah Berlin: Liberty and Pluralism (Cambridge: Polity, 2004), 135-36. 37. Isaiah Berlin, “Pursuit of the Ideal,” 11; idem, “Alleged Relativism in EighteenthCentury European Thought,” in Crooked Timber of Humanity, 80. 38. Michael Sandel, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 63. 39. Emily Gill, Becoming Free: Autonomy and Diversity in the Liberal Polity (Lawrence: University of Kansas, 2001), 37. 40. The claim that there is a link between pluralism and personal autonomy is also made by Raz, but his argument moves in the opposite direction: if we assume the value of personal autonomy, then there must be “a variety of [desirable] options to choose from,” hence a plurality of goods: Morality of Freedom, 398. In contrast with Raz’s argument from the value of autonomy to the fact of pluralism, I argue from the “fact” of pluralism to the value of

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autonomy. For a critical discussion of Raz’s argument on this point, see Crowder, Liberalism and Value Pluralism, 202-5. 41. See John Kekes, who writes that in the absence of practical reasoning, our choices among incommensurable goods would be arbitrary, incoherent, and perhaps self-defeating, in danger of creating lives that “are too scattered. . . . In such lives there are many values, but between their favorable evaluation and realization come the distractions of other values whose realization also recedes for the same reason”: The Morality of Pluralism, 97-98. Martha Nussbaum argues, similarly, that practical reasoning occupies a place “of special importance” among the plural human capabilities she identifies, since it serves to “organize and suffuse all the others, making their pursuit truly human”: Women and Human Development, 82. 42. Kekes, Morality of Pluralism; idem, Against Liberalism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997); idem, A Case for Conservatism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998). Gray has also supported this view sometimes, as when he writes that “judgements of the relative importance of such goods appeal to their role in a specific way of life”: “Where Pluralists and Liberals Part Company,” in Pluralism: The Philosophy and Politics of Diversity, ed. M. Baghramian and A. Ingram (London and New York: Routledge, 2000), 98. 43. On this point liberal pluralists agree with political liberals such as Rawls and Larmore. However, the two schools differ in their accounts of the sources of reasonable disagreement, political liberals regarding the value-pluralist view as resting on a comprehensive theory of the good, and therefore as too controversial to ground a liberalism that aspires to appeal to nonliberals and nonpluralists: see Larmore, Morals of Modernity, chap. 7. For value-pluralist replies to this objection, see Crowder, Liberalism and Value Pluralism, chap. 7; idem, Isaiah Berlin, 159-61; Galston, LP chap. 4. 44. Berlin, “Two Concepts of Liberty,” in Liberty, 214. 45. Ibid., 215. 46. I leave open the question of whether the liberal state is entitled to promote not only personal autonomy but also a range of “civic” or “democractic” virtues, as advocated, for example, by Stephen Macedo, Diversity and Distrust: Civic Education in a Multicultural Society (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000), and Amy Gutmann, Democratic Education (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999). For a discussion of distinctively “value-pluralist virtues,” see Crowder, Liberalism and Value Pluralism, chap. 8. 47. Charles Taylor, “The Politics of Recognition,” in A. Gutmann, ed., Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition (Princeton: Princeton University Press), 66. 48. Williams, “Introduction,” xviii. 49. Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship, 170-72.

George Crowder is an associate professor in the School of Political and International Studies, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. His books include Classical Anarchism (1991), Liberalism and Value Pluralism (2002), Isaiah Berlin: Liberty and Pluralism (2004), and The One and the Many: Reading Isaiah Berlin (co-edited with Henry Hardy, 2007). He is currently working on Theories of Multiculturalism (with Ian Haddock).

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