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On the object and scope of neutrality: policies, principles, and 'burdens of conscience'

Meckled-Garcia, Saladin; (2017) On the object and scope of neutrality: policies, principles, and 'burdens of conscience'. In: Laborde, C and Bardon, A, (eds.) Religion in Liberal Political Philosophy. Oxford University Press: Oxford, United Kingdom. Green open access

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Abstract

In this chapter I present a distinct account of neutrality in which the acceptability or justice of policies or public actions can only be established ‘holistically’, requiring an all-things-considered assessment in which the neutrality of those policies is never by itself definitive. Instead, neutrality is a definitive constraint only on the justification of principles/theories of justice. I first set out a proper understanding of the value behind neutrality, defending this value from autonomy-based objections to neutrality. I then use that account to show how the value engages with policies and public actions. I also respond critically to views that see neutrality as a standard to be established separately to theories of justice. Finally, I argue that the value of neutrality with its proper scope and object in place can explain how to address cases of claimed exemption on the basis of burdens of conscience by people with ‘deeply’ held convictions.

Type: Book chapter
Title: On the object and scope of neutrality: policies, principles, and 'burdens of conscience'
ISBN-13: 9780198794394
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/religion-i...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Neutrality; justification; principles of justice; burdens of conscience; theories of justice.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1535456
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