Thomas Sandel's The Public Philosophy Of Contemporary Liberalism

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In Sandel’s “The Public Philosophy of Contemporary Liberalism,” he highlights that the different forms of liberalism put forth a set a values (e.g. the freely-choosing self, toleration, and rights). Minimalist Liberalism argues that different opinions need a neutral framework for social peace. Consequently, one must bracket their controversial attitudes even though this does not seem to solve the problem. Toleration allows for diversity to flourish and equality to thrive, so long as the government be restricted in using coercion to cause citizens to act “morally,” according to their standards. One may argue that the reason to protect rights in today’s society is to ensure that the government remain neutral to protect individuals from coercion…show more content…
In Nicholas A. Bowman’s “Promoting Participation in a Diverse Democracy: A Meta-Analysis of College Diversity Experiences and Civic Engagement” he claims that college, surrounded by disagreement and difference, the point of the public sphere, lays an important foundation for individuals to not only participate, but also prosper in society. America’s success is dependent on civic engagement. Bowman’s investigation into the correlation between college diversity experience and civic engagement, says that those exposed to the diversity that colleges provide, allows students to be active in political and civic atmospheres . Exposure to diversity permits students to inquire about different lifestyles, while giving them an opportunity to enter discourse about personal, civic interests. Bowman argues, “…college students who engage in diversity experience may become more aware of issues of difference, inequality, and/or discrimination, which could lead to greater importance placed on personal involvement in civic action” (35). Thus, Bowman presents college as a tool, to aid in the transformation of students to citizens through participation in public discourse regarding difference. When an individual can recognize and be aware of difference, this illustrates a virtuous…show more content…
He argues that republicans have always been concerned about how the growing economic gap can cause different ways of living one’s life. When citizens live differently and never encounter one another, they find themselves incompetent and at a standstill. With barely any common interests, they are unable to come to a consensus about the common good. Conversing about inequality is often a challenge, as many Americans are narrow-minded when it comes to what our political systems should achieve. Discourse through means of education, allow students to transform into citizens by engaging in the public. Exposing one’s self to difference and getting into arguments, makes individuals avid seekers of information. However, a civic-based approach to education provides them an opportunity to engage. Bowman asserts, “higher education practitioners and administrators should endeavor to make diversity a key focus of the curriculum and cocurriculum, as this emphasis will likely lead to civic orientations and participation well after college graduation” (Bowman 49). The assignment for students to transform into effective and virtuous citizens, requires them to take advantage of the civic skills education can offer; students have the opportunity to establish a sense of community and responsibility and can attempt to heal America’s civic life to which democracy so heavily

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