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The Tyranny of the IdealJustice in a Diverse Society$
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Gerald Gaus

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691183428

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691183428.001.0001

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Advancing from the Citadel

Advancing from the Citadel

(p.241) Chapter V Advancing from the Citadel
The Tyranny of the Ideal

Gerald Gaus

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that the well-ordered society is a dangerous illusion. The very aim that the ideal theorist cherished, to know justice and just social states as well as possible, requires an open, diverse society, in which innumerable perspectives simultaneously cooperate and compete, share and conflict. In this society there will be a crisscrossing network of communities exploring and refining moral ideals and gaining insights into their own ideals by their interactions with others. In order to be successful and robust, the Open Society must be based on a moral constitution that provides the basis of a practice of responsibility and accountability among a maximally wide array of perspectives, allowing us to reap the fruits of the cooperation and competition that diversity allows.

Keywords:   well-ordered society, Open Society, justice, moral ideals, moral constitution, responsibility, accountability, cooperation, diversity

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