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Grant number like: FT-52184-04

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Jack Russell Weinstein
University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, ND 58202-6059)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 8/31/2004

Adam Smith, Neutrality, and the Liberal Ideal

This project offers a new theory of liberalism based on the work of Adam Smith. Contemporary liberal theory builds pluralism on an indefensible "neutralist" state that does not privilege one good over another. I suggest a new neutrality, one that emphasizes long-term growth in the participation and influence of marginalized groups over time. Thus, neutrality is not an Archimedean moment-in-time. It is, instead, a context-dependant process that takes emotions to be rational. My project uses Smith’s philosophy of education as a bridge between his moral psychology and his theory of politics, and offers an account of moral and political growth that results in a stable pluralist society. I also rely on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre, Martha Nussbaum, and William Galston.