Friday, May 19, 2006

English Canadian Political Theory in a Nutshell

A few years back, The New Republic ran an article by Alan D. Wolfe asking why Canadian political philosophers are so willing to bend the standards of liberal justice to accommodate Quebec's language laws.

Although he takes on Kymlicka and Carens, Taylor and Waldron would be subject to the same question. Perhaps it would be only a small exaggeration to say that anglophone Canadian political philosophy consists of more or less ingenious attempts to show how the Charter of the French Language is compatible with liberalism. That the task is impossible does not detract from the intellectual accomplishment of those attempting it: perhaps demonstrating the compatibility of prosecuting Ms. Ford for displaying a sign saying "LAINE WOOL" with Mill and Rawls will fill the same function for our intelligentsia that reconciling Christian revelation and Greek philosophy filled for Aquinas.

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