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JOURNAL OF

MORAL
PHILOSOPHY

Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013)
DOI 10.1163/174552412X628850

brill.com/jmp

The Unromantic Rousseauian:
Scanlon on Justice, Value Coherence and
Freedom*
Waheed Hussain

Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania
whussain@wharton.upenn.edu

Abstract
Scanlon differs from many liberals – Isaiah Berlin, for example – in that he rejects deep value
pluralism. He thinks that the requirements of social justice actually cohere with the
requirements of other political values. But like many other liberals, Scanlon does not think
that value coherence has any implications for the kind of freedom that we should care
about in assessing social and political institutions. In this paper, I take issue with Scanlon’s
view of the relation between value coherence and freedom. Following Rousseau, I argue that
value coherence does in fact contribute to our freedom, and that we should structure
our basic institutions so as to increase value coherence and thereby enhance our freedom
overall.
Keywords
Value pluralism, Social Freedom, Rousseau, Liberalism, Stability, Congruence

Justice is an important value, but there are other important values in political life, including liberty, equality, and community. Isaiah Berlin famously
argues that these values are incompatible with each other, and that politics
has an unavoidably tragic dimension because there is often no good way of
ordering the conflicting demands that these values make.1 As he says, “[t]he
* I would like to thank the late G.A. Cohen (who is sorely missed), Rahul Kumar, Martin
O’Neill, Mathias Risse, Leif Wenar, and two anonymous referees at the Journal of Moral
Philosophy for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. I owe a special debt to
Tim Scanlon for so many illuminating discussions of these issues over the years.
 1
 Isaiah Berlin, “Two Concepts of Liberty,” Four Essays on Liberty (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1969), p. 168-9. See also Bernard Williams, “Ethical Consistency,” Problems of
the Self (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973); “Conflicts of Values,” Moral Luck
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981); and “Conflicts of Liberty and Equality,” In the
Beginning Was the Deed (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005).
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2013

DOI 10.1163/174552412X628850

W. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013)
DOI 10.1163/174552412X628850

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world that we encounter in ordinary experience is one in which we are
faced with choices between ends equally ultimate, and claims equally absolute, the realization of some of which must inevitably involve the sacrifice
of others.”2
Scanlon’s moral and political philosophy presents a compelling alternative to Berlin’s agonistic view of political life. For Scanlon, there is an underlying coherence between the demands of justice and the demands of other
political values, so Berlin is mistaken in thinking that the values of political
life are fundamentally at odds with each other. Moreover, Scanlon thinks
that justice has a certain priority among political values, so in most cases,
there is a good way of ordering the demands that these values make.
The contractualist view of the relation between political values is one of
the most attractive and compelling aspects of Scanlon’s political philosophy. But I will argue that his view is nonetheless mistaken in one impor­
tant respect: it does not attach the right significance to value coherence.
A socialist tradition of thought that begins with Rousseau and continues
through Marx takes value coherence to be closely linked with freedom.
Scanlon’s theory belongs to the Rousseauian tradition in that it asserts that
there is an underlying coherence between justice and other values. But it
departs from the tradition in that it rejects the idea that this coherence
enhances our freedom in a practically significant sense. For Scanlon, the
kind of freedom that matters in political life is mainly a function of the
circumstances in which people make decisions, not the relation between
values.
I will argue that the Rousseauian tradition is essentially right about the
significance of value coherence. When justice bears the right relation to
other values, this enhances our freedom in a practically significant sense,
and we should structure our institutions so as to improve this coherence.
I begin in sections 1-4 by formulating Scanlon’s views about social justice
and its place in political life, and then turn to consider the question of freedom in the rest of the paper.
1. Justice and Mutual Recognition

The central normative concept in the assessment of social institutions,
for Scanlon, is the concept of a justified (or “legitimate” or “defensible”)
institution. A social institution is justified when “it could be justified to each
 Isaiah Berlin, “Two Concepts of Liberty,” p. 168.

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1988). so long as they were committed (and believed that others were also committed) to organizing the institution in a mutually acceptable way. On Rawls’ view.1163/174552412X628850 3 person affected by it on grounds which that person could not reasonably reject. revised edition (Cambridge: Harvard University Press.4 These principles must serve as the most authoritative public standards that citizens and officials use to assess the basic structure of society. The basic rationale for an institution shows how it gives people the things that they have reason to want. Scanlon’s account of social justice is closely related to Rawls’. to treat them fairly. the grounds on which they punish people. the institution must be structured so that its basic rationale is one that no one affected by the institution (or who may be affected by it) could reasonably reject. Rawls argues that his two principles of justice are the most appropriate standards to play this role. it can also be understood more broadly to encompass the domain of “political right” or what we might call “institutional right and wrong.M. not simply in virtue of the way that they distribute the benefits of social cooperation.) (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. but it is worth noting a difference in their views about the nature of social justice. p. but also in virtue of the way that they promote different facets of individual well-being. In other words. To meet the reasonable rejection standard. to give them certain forms of control over their lives. A Theory of Justice. . p. “The Significance of Choice. 1999). and this range corresponds most clearly to the broad notion of social justice as institutional right and wrong. and so on. W. and therefore that society’s basic institutions are just when they 3  T. 185.” When justice is understood this way. Although social justice is sometimes understood narrowly in terms of distributive justice. volume 8. The concept of a justified institution is essentially a theoretical account of social justice. however. the institution must secure benefits that would make it unreasonable for anyone affected by the institution to reject it. social institutions can be just or unjust.” The Tanner Lectures on Human Values.”3 The idea is that people have reason to want various things from their institutions: they have reason to want their institutions to promote their well-being. it is a defining characteristic of the principles of social justice that these principles have to play a certain role in social life. 3-6. Scanlon. Sterling McMurrin (ed. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. The concept of a justified institution encompasses a very wide range of grounds for criticizing institutions. 4  See Rawls. and so on. the protections they offer for basic rights.

of course. 163. he does not conceive of social justice in terms of principles at all. What We Owe to Each Other (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. In fact. Conformity with these principles would be a requirement of justice. its rules define a way of thinking and acting that no one affected by the institution (or possibly affected by it) could reasonably reject. the normative appeal of social justice is best understood in terms of the importance of standing in a certain kind of relation with other people.” It follows that we can understand the normative appeal of social justice in light of what Scanlon says about the normative appeal of morality more generally. Scanlon’s view is different from Rawls’ because he does not take the principles of justice to have any defining role to play in social life. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. Social justice consists rather in the fact that society’s basic institutions would pass the reasonable rejection test. This relation explains the normative appeal of the “morality of right and wrong” in general. and to the fact that each individual has the capacity to assess the justification for a certain mode of governance.5 A social institution is not just a set of habits. 1998).  I take it that institutional right and wrong is part of the broader domain of the “morality of right and wrong. 5 .6 Institutions define a way of thinking and acting. but what makes justice important? Why should we care about the fact that our basic institutions are just? For Scanlon. on Scanlon’s view. p. In conforming to the rules. He calls this relation one of mutual recognition. 214. 6  See Scanlon. Just institutions. are justified institutions.M.1163/174552412X628850 4 conform to these principles. Scanlon. understood as one part of this broader domain. but this requirement would follow as an implication of a theory that makes no essential appeal to these principles. My interpretation of Scanlon’s view is supported by the fact that he illustrates the intuitive force of mutual recognition by appeal to an institutional example – namely the reactions of Americans in the 60s and 70s to the recognition that their institutions failed the test of justifiability. Scanlon might. This means that the rules are sensitive to the fact that each individual has good reasons for wanting others to govern themselves in certain ways. But this does not mean that justice itself consists in conformity with these principles.” p. agree that people would have reasonable grounds for rejecting their basic institutions if these were not publicly regulated by principles of the right kind. See T. When an institution is just. “The Significance of Choice. but a system of rules that people are supposed to use in deciding what to do. W. and it explains the normative appeal of social justice in particular. participants stand in relations of mutual recognition with all those affected because the rules define a mode of self-governance that treats each individual as a moral person who matters in both of these ways.

p. 162. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10.  Scanlon. then on this model. But on the contractualist view.8 2. What We Owe to Each Other. so the requirements of justice are actually “aspects of the positive value of a way of living with others. and we can see the requirements of this relationship – the “obligations” of friendship – not just as constraints on our conduct. justice would have priority because standing in these relations is so important that the requirements of doing so would override the demands of any other value in cases of conflict. then the balance of reasons favors revising these institutions. is that it occupies a special position in political life: its demands have priority over the demands of other values. One model for the special place of justice in political life is the model of an overriding value. however. Social arrangements may be attractive because they promote cultural diversity or encourage achievement in the arts and sciences.” 7 8 . What We Owe to Each Other.”7 We might draw a helpful parallel here with friendship.1163/174552412X628850 5 We often think of the requirements of social justice as constraints on our pursuit of other substantively appealing social objectives. One of the things that makes social justice distinctive. We might call this abstract value “solidarity” or “standing with others. pp. Living in relations of mutual recognition with others is a substantively appealing objective in its own right. 162-3. Scanlon’s theory does not understand the special position of social justice in this way. such as maintaining a cultural heritage or promoting technological innovation. Friendship and mutual recognition can be understood as two instances of the same abstract form of value. but also as aspects of an intrinsically valuable endeavor. If the distinctive appeal of justice consists in the importance of standing in relations of mutual recognition with others. they enter our lives rather as aspects of a broader enterprise that is both natural and has a powerful positive appeal. According to the contractualist view. but it is similar in that its requirements do not enter our lives in the way that coercive legal restrictions typically do. The Relation between Justice and Other Values Scanlon’s contractualism explains the normative appeal of social justice in terms of the importance of standing in relations of mutual recognition with others. the requirements of social justice are not merely constraints. but if these arrangements violate the requirements of justice. Friendship is a way of relating to others that has positive value. W. Mutual recognition is less personal than friendship. there may be cases in which the requirements of  Scanlon.

Second. 6 W. 90-4 and 166-7.1163/174552412X628850 justice simply override the demands of other values. 10  See Scanlon’s discussion of friendship in What We Owe to Each Other. Sometimes they will make demands that are best understood to be qualified. in the sense that these demands are not meant to take precedence over the requirements of justice. it stems from the fact that there is a certain pressure within social justice to make room for the demands of other values. properly understood. such as the reason that we have to develop our scientific talents (if we have any). requires that we comply with the demands of social justice. or at least does not require that we violate these demands. Some of these reasons are reasons that we have as individuals. Consider first the case of science. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. such as the reason that we have to support scientific research and to cultivate a  9  Here I draw on Scanlon’s account of the priority of the morality of right and wrong in general. pp. scientific inquiry and scientific knowledge are all important values. 165. See What We Owe to Each Other. see What We Owe to Each Other. Justice is. The coherence among political values has two sources. and (3) if any tension remains. Some of these are reasons that we have as members of a political community.9 First. or at least not challenge. and is beyond the scope of this paper. sensitive to the demands that other values make. this is a complicated project. the coherence stems from the fact that other values are sensitive to the demands that justice makes. but I want to consider two cases to illustrate. Obviously. a value may be pursued in several ways. reasons that we have for taking certain courses of action and forming certain attitudes. (2) how this value. to apply ourselves to important lines of research. 160-8. Science. pp. 11  For Scanlon’s views about the value of science.10 A full defense of the contractualist view of the priority of justice would consider each value in political life and show: (1) how justice makes room for us to respond to a significant portion of the demands that this value makes. why the interests and concerns embodied in the demands of justice imply that these demands should take precedence.11 Their value consists in a wide range of reasons. and some of these approaches will reinforce. . But the main reason that the balance of reasons always favors doing what justice requires is that there is a certain level of coherence between the requirements of justice and the requirements of other values. in this way. and to be good members of the research community. the requirements of justice. In some cases. Sometimes other values will actually require that we comply with the demands of justice. p.

The value of science lies not simply in the value of a certain set of beliefs. but also in the value of a way of forming beliefs. for instance – that nonetheless seems to be attractive to many people. it must pass the reasonable rejection test. It follows that the requirements of justice are sensitive to the requirements of an appropriate regard for science. As we have seen. where the methods of science themselves are open to challenge. Suppose that there is some scientifically discredited doctrine – young earth creationism. in fact. Young earth creationists may have mistaken views and may use mistaken methods to defend their views. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. How can we take science seriously as a society and yet allow such an obviously unscientific pattern of belief and argument to gain widespread adherence? The contractualist answer is that a proper understanding of the value of science should lead us to see that we can take science seriously without wanting to constrain basic freedoms in this way. and others like them. such as arrangements that would discourage scientific inquiry or limit inquiry to protect some religious orthodoxy. the requirements of a proper regard for science are in line with respect for the basic liberties. Science is a form of open questioning. and become good researchers. and show clearly how they do not support beliefs about the natural world. people have reason to want to develop their scientific talents. Although this policy violates the freedom of speech and religion. . Suppose that we are considering a policy that would prevent religious believers from trying to spread the doctrine. They also have reason to want to form beliefs about the natural world using the best possible methods. Understood in this way. one might well think that we have good reason to adopt the policy insofar as we take science seriously. and. offer independent support for respecting these freedoms. and fashioning a just system of social institutions would require that we make room for people to respond to the value of science and scientific inquiry. and is therefore unjust. To show that justice occupies a privileged position in political life. we must show that the requirements of justice are not overridden by the requirements of an appropriate regard for science. These reasons. The first step is to show how justice is sensitive to the value of science. but taking science seriously requires that we engage and respond to these mistaken views and methods. W. which are generally the methods of science.1163/174552412X628850 7 widespread understanding of scientific theories and findings. The second step is to show how science is sensitive to the demands of social justice. give people a basis for reasonably rejecting a wide range of social arrangements. For a social arrangement to be just.

14 People in this arrangement are set against each other and lack fraternity. See also. such as honesty and tolerance. coworkers – even members of their family – because of how this 12  See Rawls’ notion of a social union. 212-13. 2009). 3. including the value of sports and the arts. People stand in relations of fraternity when they have complimentary ends and take pleasure in the realization of each other’s aims and ambitions. p.” The Difficulty of Tolerance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. and it is worth considering a more difficult case. p. “The Ethical Limitations of the Market. pp. Some people will end up as corporate executives and celebrities. as well as expressly political values. 34-45. A Theory of Justice. See Scanlon. and G. and no one has any particular reason to think that others want him to fail in his. 8 W. 34-45. imagine that society is organized into a competition for high and low status positions. pp. such as the rule of law and democracy.1163/174552412X628850 Science provides a model for how a wide range of values might be reconciled with the priority of social justice.A. . However. each person sees his own success as contributing to the success of others and he sees the success of others as contributing to his own success. “The Diversity of Objections to Inequality.A. but the only way to achieve these positions under this arrangement is to push someone else into a lower status position. 1993). 158. Fraternity is an intrinsically valuable way for people to relate to each other. A Theory of Justice. 2009). People naturally strive after high status positions. 13  Scanlon emphasizes the importance of self-esteem. 14  See G. 90-1. No one has any particular reason to want others to fail in their projects.12 When the members of a community stand in relations of fraternity with each other. p. Cohen’s discussion of the “socialist principle of community” in Why Not Socialism? (Princeton: Princeton University Press. For a somewhat different conception of fraternity. They have reason to fear the success of their friends. 458-61. Fraternity and Social Equality Fraternity is an important political value.” Value in Ethics and Economics (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Cohen’s discussion of the “socialist principle of community” in Why Not Socialism? (Princeton: Princeton University Press. but notes that the value of social equality can also be understood to flow from the value of fraternity. while others will scrub toilets night after night. and the value of this relation gives us reason to avoid certain sorts of social arrangements. Elizabeth Anderson. pp. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10.13 For example. 2003). see Rawls. not all values are quite so easily reconciled with social justice. personal virtues.

Cohen also takes the view that fraternity (what he calls “the socialist principle of community”) is a distinct value whose requirements may be in tension with social justice. On the contractualist view. intrinsically valuable ways of living with others.1163/174552412X628850 9 might damage their social position.16 But there is an important difference here. The two values seem to be at odds. See Why Not Socialism?.15 On the contractualist view. “The Diversity of Objections to Inequality. 15 16 . he must show that the requirements of fraternity are not fundamentally at odds with the requirements of mutual recognition. 212-28). then justice would likely require these status distinctions. (Scanlon notes the connection with fraternity. pp. 17  See Scanlon. and this gives them a basis for reasonably rejecting social arrangements that create useless status distinctions. 34-45.17 For example. involves standing in another kind of relation with others. but the requirements of this second relation are not compatible with many of the status inequalities that justice would require. but does not address it. p. 214-15. social justice would allow and likely require certain forms of social inequality when these would serve an important public purpose and could be allotted through a fair process.) G. namely fraternity. on the other hand. “The Diversity of Objections to Inequality. 18  Here I am disagreeing with Scanlon’s treatment of social equality in “The Diversity of Objections to Inequality” (see especially pp. 216-17. then. We have. And they have reason to think that their friends. then. namely the relation of mutual recognition. People have reason to protect their sense of their own worth. For the contractualist to show that justice has a privileged position in political life. See note 13 above.” p. But I argue that our concern for social equality also has to do with a value that is distinct from social justice. and that there is at least one form of fraternity whose demands are compatible with status  See Rawls’ notion of a social union. How might the contractualist approach the problem? One possibility would be to argue that fraternity is a pluralistic value.” p. social justice is like fraternity because it also gives us reason to avoid certain forms of status competition. 458-61.18 Social justice involves standing in one kind of relation with others. if the possibility of an endowed chair in medicine or a high-profile interview in The New Yorker would serve to motivate researchers to make worthwhile advances in medicine. Justice would also require that society take steps to soften the impact that these differentiations would have on the self-worth of those who are left in inferior positions. a tension between the requirements of two different. Scanlon treats social equality as if our concern for it were mainly an aspect of our concern for social justice. A Theory of Justice. This relation requires certain forms of social inequality.A.  See Scanlon. Fraternity. when it comes to status competition. W. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. coworkers and family members harbor similar fears about their own success.

 Institution-Sensitive Values Let’s say that a value is congruent with social justice when the value adds an independent set of reasons to comply with the requirements of a just social arrangement. Rawls. This means that social institutions can increase or decrease the level of coherence among political values by shaping the requirements of these values in the right way. we could say that the members of a just society compete with each other for high status positions. and individuals displaying the various excellences of the sport. A Theory of Justice. The Rawlsian argument illustrates how the contractualist could show that fraternity is not fundamentally at odds with mutual recognition.” Achieving this goal involves each player following the rules. we can stand in relations of mutual recognition without ignoring the demands of fraternity in the process. 461.20 On the contractualist view. A Theory of Justice. But on the contractualist view. they stand in relations of fraternity because they can take pleasure in the realization of each other’s ends insofar as this contributes to a good play of the game.  See Rawls. p. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. If so. the values of political life are congruent with the requirements of social justice. It is an open question whether the Rawlsian argument is convincing – I myself am skeptical – but at least it shows how the contractualist might address the challenge. Some values are institution sensitive in the sense that the requirements of these values can be shaped by social institutions.1163/174552412X628850 10 competition. social institutions also play an important role in generating coherence among political values. because justice is sensitive to the requirements of these values and these values are themselves sensitive to the requirements of justice.19 When players share this goal. If we think of society along these lines. members would stand in relations of fraternity because each member could take pleasure in the realization of other people’s ends insofar as the realization of these ends contributed to maintaining a just social order. Some forms of fraternity might not be compatible with status competition.  I take the term “congruence” from Rawls. at the most basic level. 19 20 . 4. W. for example. but they may nonetheless share the aim of maintaining a just framework of social cooperation. the teams being evenly matched. but since there is at least one form that is compatible. argues that players in a competitive game may share the fundamental aim of “having a good play of the game. 350.

164-5. Congruent friendship requires that friends show loyalty and special concern for each other. p. W. in some cases. that we lie to the authorities in order to protect our friends from punishment. their only options would be friendships that may make demands that conflict with the requirements of morality and social justice. 165. but it does not demand that they lie. which I will call congruent friendship and noncongruent friendship. If no one in my society understands friendship as having the moral content I have just described [i.23 Social institutions play an important role in determining what sorts of friendships are available in a society. Scanlon observes that social conditions can determine which types of friendship are available to us and therefore the extent to which there is a conflict between the requirements of friendship and the requirements of morality. then a relationship with others on this footing is not available to me.) If people want to form friendships under these institutions. p. this type of friendship may require. 23  Scanlon. See What We Owe to Each Other. but it also requires that they treat each other as moral persons who belong to the same moral order as everyone else. 166. (Think here of the bonds between gang members or members of a tribe fighting for scarce resources. What We Owe to Each Other. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. Non-congruent friendship.” 22  Scanlon does not deny that this other form of friendship is valuable.e. Scanlon distinguishes between two types of friendship. If everyone in my society sees the world as divided between “them” and “us” … then I really am faced with a choice between actual ties with my fellow citizens … and the requirements of morality grounded in an ideal of relations with others that must remain purely ideal. by contrast. may require that friends do things for each other that involve violating the moral rights of third parties. Suppose that society’s economic institutions are poorly designed and lead to extreme material scarcity. What We Owe to Each Other. But suppose instead that  Scanlon. The degree to which there is a conflict between the morality of right and wrong and the goods of personal relations depends greatly on the society in which one lives. Extreme scarcity tends to generate a culture of fierce loyalties. Scanlon does not use the terms “congruent” and “non-congruent. 21 .21 Each one involves a different set of normative demands. one in which noncongruent friendship is the standard form.22 For example. This type of friendship demands that friends take care of each other.1163/174552412X628850 11 Consider the case of friendship. the content of congruent friendship]. steal or otherwise violate the moral rights of third parties in order to help each other. even if the punishment in question is justified.

Material prosperity tends to lead to a softening of social mores and the spread of more moderate ideas about friendship and loyalty. Friendship is. If the reasons for driving less than 65 mph are made clear to you – the impact on overall safety and crash mortality. which in turn serve to ease the tension between the requirements of friendship and the requirements of morality and social justice. and I will argue that one of these reasons has to do with freedom. The first step in the argument is to show that an important form of freedom – call it inner freedom – is sensitive to the way that we relate to our institutions. the fact that you think that this pattern is sensible will lead you to follow it. etc. Different forms of friendship make different demands. you would continue to comply with the underlying requirement. and institutions can shape the requirements of friendship by determining which of these forms are available in society. Social Institutions and Freedom Up to this point. in this way. Another way that you could relate to the law. I have discussed the main features of Scanlon’s account of value coherence. – you will come to regard the pattern of conduct set out in the law as quite sensible. Value coherence in political life is important for many reasons.1163/174552412X628850 society’s economic institutions are well designed and lead to material prosperity. 12 W. then you will simply regard the law as a limitation on your conduct. And even if the sanctions for non-compliance were removed. Friendship is just one example of an institution sensitive value – I will consider the case of self-respect in section 6. The central point is that social institutions can increase or decrease the level of coherence among values in political life by shaping the requirements of institution sensitive values in the right way. Distinguish between two different ways that you could relate to a law. The prospects for human freedom are better when there is coherence among values than when there is not. One way that you could relate to the law is as a passive subject. 5. If you do not see the rationale behind driving less than 65 mph. however. one that happens to be backed by coercive sanctions. is as an active participant. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. . Insofar as you are a rational agent. because you think that this is a sensible way to behave. an institution sensitive value. I want to turn now to its significance. So in a prosperous society. Suppose that the law says that you should drive less than 65 mph. people would have more opportunities to form congruent friendships.

The intrinsic normative appeal of social justice makes it possible for rational agents to relate to just institutions as active agents. our conformity with the law is imposed on us by outside forces and we are forced to comply. But when we relate to the law as active participants. we have reason to do many things in our lives. When a rational agent understands the appeal of mutual recognition and the way that his institutions embody the requirements of this relation. According to Scanlon’s theory. If these values are radically at odds with social justice. It follows that we have good reason to govern ourselves in the way that these institutions require. it may seem that we must relate to these arrangements as passive subjects. But when the various values of political life are congruent (or at least consistent) with social justice. Let me elaborate. they define a pattern of thought and action that is consistent with this ideal. There are other values in political life. But the mere fact that justice has this appeal is not enough. preventing him from relating to his institutions fully as an active participant. and insofar as it does so. A just system of social institutions will inevitably constrain the pursuit of our self-interest. We there­ fore achieve an aspect of freedom when we relate to the law as active participants that we do not achieve when we relate to it as passive subjects. When our basic institutions pass the reasonable rejection test. he will want to govern himself in the ways that these arrangements require. conformity is not simply imposed on us. our activities stem from our own volition and they are a free expression of our own agency. W. But Scanlon’s contractualism implies another possibility. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. The fact that we have this reason is important from the standpoint of inner freedom. When we see that a certain consideration counts as a reason . In so doing. and it is also important how these other values relate to social justice. When we relate as passive subjects. it is better that we relate to the law as active participants rather than passive subjects. enabling him to relate to his institutions fully as an active participant. and one of these things is to stand in relations of mutual recognition with others. they will not pull the rational agent in different directions. he relates to them as an active participant. I take it that our desires track the reasons that we have to do various things. Coherence in the Self At a basic level. he transforms his relationship with these institutions: instead of relating to them as a passive subject. 6.1163/174552412X628850 13 From the standpoint of inner freedom. they will pull the rational agent in different directions. Since we regard the underlying pattern of conduct to be sensible.

In fact. In cases where we fail to make up our minds. and they are both similar in terms of location. 44. but it would be a mistake to say that these actions are expressive of our will. There is nothing special here that needs to happen in order for me to make up my mind about what to do. if I am watching American Idol and my daughter falls out of her high-chair. To use Harry Frankfurt’s terminology. where the reasons that count in favor of each one are roughly balanced. But sometimes the process of making up our minds is more complicated. The consequences of the decision are complicated and 24  See Harry Frankfurt.1163/174552412X628850 for doing X. we form a desire to do X. and the Nature of Reflective Endorsement. the process of making up our minds may involve making a choice. Most cases are like this one in that we make up our minds without necessarily being consciously aware of the fact that this is what we are doing. our will has not been made determinate yet in the relevant respects. and so neither the desire nor the action is expressive of our agency. One kind of case involves different courses of action. For example. Very often this process is relatively straightforward because some reasons are obviously more pressing than others. it also requires that we make up our minds about what to do. If I am considering two hotels. The choice functions as a kind of tie-breaker. But willful conduct requires more than just seeing that we have a reason to do X. we are “wanton” with respect to the desire and the action that issues from it. Making up our minds is important because it is essential to our agency. for instance.” Journal of Value Inquiry vol. 14 W. we may act in the minimal sense that our bodily movements are caused by desires within us. In cases such as this. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. . ensuring that I am able to respond to the considerations that tell in favor of at least one of the two alternatives. “Identification and Wholeheartedness” in The Importance of What We Care About (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. My discussion in this section draws on Waheed Hussain. 1 (March 2010). that you have a job and you get an offer from another firm. the reasons are roughly balanced.24 Making up your mind is a process in which your initial perceptions of reasons evolve into a determinate conclusion about where the balance of reasons lies. Frankfurt. and price. Imagine. 1988). comfort. no. the reasons that I have for taking care of her are obviously more important than the reasons I have for continuing to watch the show. “Autonomy.

But it is important to distinguish the case of deep value conflict from the case where the reasons for pursuing different courses of action are roughly balanced. sometimes concluding that the balance of reasons favors one option and sometimes concluding that the balance of reasons favors the other. When considering a case like this. but the benefits are significant. In this complex situation. imagine that your wife needs a job very badly and she has applied to your department. time runs out and you stay at your current job. Eventually. Here it would be a mistake to say that you wanted to stay at your current job and therefore that your conduct is a free expression of your agency. As such. there is no obvious way that a simple choice could move you to a substantive conclusion about what to do. but they are important in quite different ways and are not easily compared. Both of these values make important demands on you. Suppose that two different values are making conflicting demands on you. but you never really make up your mind. the reasons for hiring your wife and the reasons for acting with professional detachment are not balanced in such a way that what is required is a tie-breaker. Here it seems that the demands of your personal relationship with your wife are in conflict with the demands of another value – call it professionalism. you find yourself on the hiring committee. For example. Circumstances in which two or more important values make conflicting but not easily comparable demands are hostile environments for making . In the hiring case. The most important circumstances for my purposes are those that involve deep value conflict. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. There are many circumstances in which it is difficult to make up your mind. This is not like the case of similar hotels. In fact. so there is no definite position for your conduct to express. it is natural to think that we could make up our minds by simply choosing to pursue one course of action or the other. Through some failure of oversight. The reasons involved in this case are of different kinds – they stem from two different and significant forms of value – so there is no substantive tie here that needs to be broken. you never really resolved yourself in the relevant way. Making up your mind is difficult in this case because there is nothing very definite to be said about where the balance of reasons lies. you vacillate between staying at your current job and taking the new job.1163/174552412X628850 15 involve moving to another city. W. The demands involved are extremely important. but they are important in different ways and are not easily compared.

” or more precisely. The alignment of values would allow them to make up their minds thereby relate to their institutions as fully active participants.1163/174552412X628850 up your mind. and although they might act in the ways required by their basic institutions.25 It is difficult to come to a conclusion about where the balance of reasons lies. See Frankfurt. individuals in a just society would find that different values would tell them to do different things. Insofar as they are rational. But when the values of political life cohere with each other. 7. If the contractualist account is correct. 16 W. individuals in a just society would find that different values tell them to do the same thing. 2002). their conduct would not be a free expression of their agency. the different ideals of political life lead them to the same conclusion. See also T. Making up your mind is. such as scientific inquiry. Scanlon. two volitional necessities that are in competition with each other. Instead of pulling them apart. Sarah Buss and Lee Overton (eds. This means that. The requirements of mutual recognition would be at odds with other important ideals. your conduct cannot be an expression of yourself because your self has not been made determinate in the relevant respect. “Reasons and Passions” in Contours of Agency. but in fact draw support from these values. however. “The Importance of What We Care About” in The Importance of What We Care About. but also for freedom. If there were no coherence among values in political life. insofar as they are rational. essential to free self-expression: without an inner resolution.) (Cambridge: MIT Press. this misalignment in values would make it impossible for individuals to make up their minds. fraternity and friendship. and it is not clear how inner movements such as choices and decisions could resolve your will. individuals in a just society would be able to make up their minds to  They involve something similar to what Frankfurt calls “volitional necessity. which is to act in the ways required by their basic institutions.M. 25 . then the various values in political life are not fundamentally at odds with each other. and it is possible to design a just social order such that it makes demands that are not only compatible with the demands of other values. The significance of the contractualist account of the relation between political values should now be clearer. Part of what is at stake in this account is a form of freedom. So cases of deep value conflict are hostile terrain not only for making up your mind. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. Coherence in Political Life We are now in a position to see why value coherence matters in political life.

however.26 This reflects the fact that Scanlon does not think that the connection between freedom and value coherence has practical implications. any significant redistributive policies can seem threatening because they might require these families to  Rawls also does not say that institutions should be designed to increase coherence. wealth. if bankers and CEOs amass enormous wealth because they take their salaries in stock options. but he does not say that they should be designed to do so. By contrast. but it would also allow each person to take part in social life as a fully active agent. In a culture such as this. 26 . I would argue. while those with little get ignored or pitied. thereby maneuvering around the redistributive elements of the tax code. Suppose that we live under just social institutions. By this I mean that our system of social recognition is based on income. we will have to adopt special measures to disperse these ill-gotten gains in the right way. and material lifestyle.1163/174552412X628850 17 live a life that conforms to the requirements of their basic institutions. policies that attempt to reestablish just conditions will be threatening to the self-respect of many citizens. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. Scanlon acknowledges that social institutions can decrease the tension between social justice and other values. W. In What We Owe to Each Other. For example. Suppose. Here is an illustration. But my argument up to this point suggests another reason: reducing this tension would enhance the freedom of agents in a just society. Maintaining just background conditions requires that we adopt various policies to address the inequalities that will emerge through market competition. The social order would not only give each person what he could reasonably insist on receiving. that our society is materialistic. People with lots of wealth get public admiration. In this climate. important practical implications. reducing this tension might encourage compliance and improve social stability. Some of these policies will require that people who have benefited from temporary inequalities of opportunity or other unjust background conditions give up their unfair gains. Even relatively wealthy families today can feel overextended in trying to maintain an appropriate house and keeping their children in expensive private universities. The connection between freedom and value coherence has. Of course. I would argue that our institutions can and should be designed to reduce the tension between social justice and other values. The argument in part three of Theory aims only to show that there would be enough coherence in a well-ordered society regulated by justice as fairness to ensure stability over time.

1997). 18 W. 302-7. Spheres of Justice (New York: Basic Books.J. but self-respect requires another. but they might also include some form of mandatory public service to encourage non-materialistic patterns of social recognition. pp. 1983).28 The point of these measures would be to enhance social freedom by bringing the requirements of self-esteem more closely in line with the requirements of social justice. Scanlon would agree with the claim that value 27  See G. and instead of relating to society’s basic institutions as active agents. see J. 168-76. many will withdraw into wantonness and detachment. People who benefit from unjust inequalities find that social justice requires one thing. 8. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10.A. value coherence would lead us to participate in our basic political institutions as active agents rather than passive subjects. Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defense (Princeton: Princeton University Press. 226-231. firms make money by selling things. Victor Gourevitch (ed. Insofar as we are rational. then. this tension between the requirements of social justice and the requirements of self-respect will naturally give rise to a kind of alienation. p. So a just society with a materialistic culture would put many of its members in the difficult situation where two important forms of value make conflicting demands. 1978). “Considerations on the Government of Poland. There is a misalignment of values in the society I have described.1163/174552412X628850 endure the shame of moving to a smaller house or taking their children out of an elite school. to design our institutions so that they give rise to a system of recognition that is congruent with social justice.27 Appropriate policies might include limits on advertising and marketing. and this requires them to generate demand by constantly drawing attention to the attractions of their products. If market institutions tend to encourage materialistic patterns of recognition.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . Over time. 28  For public service. Inner Freedom and Outer Freedom I have argued that value coherence in political life is important because it enhances our freedom. Cohen. p. As Cohen notes.” The Social Contract and other later political writings. an appropriate regard for freedom would require that we adopt policies that counteract this effect. A similar dynamic is likely to unfold in a just society with a materialistic culture: even those who are relatively well off would find that the sacrifices required to maintain a just society would involve very real costs in terms of social status and self-esteem. and Michael Walzer. We have a positive reason. Rousseau.

and the other I will refer to as outer freedom. Scanlon takes the fact that the addict has made up his mind to take the drug to be an important component of his being free in the relevant sense: “Since the action of the willing addict reflects his assessment of the relevant reasons. Scanlon associates inner freedom with “responsibility as attributability. Favorable circumstances include having a variety of attractive options.”32 Among the things that we have reason to want is the ability to shape our lives through the exercise of choice under favorable circumstances. having a secure environment for deliberation. “The Significance of Choice. Outer freedom consists in these favorable circumstances of choice. just in case that action is correctly attributable to her.1163/174552412X628850 19 coherence enhances our freedom. and this is the aspect of freedom that Scanlon thinks is relevant in assessing social institutions. the action must issue from his own attitudes and these attitudes must themselves express his own judgments. in Frankfurt’s well-known case of the willing addict. He thinks that inner states such as coherence in the self may be important forms of freedom in general. Scanlon distinguishes between two forms of freedom: one corresponds to what I have been calling inner freedom. 31  Scanlon. 30  As Scanlon says.”29 An agent is responsible for an action in this sense when he is properly subject to moral praise and blame for performing it. “The Significance of Choice.”31 Outer freedom is connected with the “value of choice. [so] responsibility of this kind is undermined only by those forms of unfreedom that undermine this attributability” (What We Owe to Each Other. an agent “is responsible for an action in [the attribution] sense.” Moral principles or social institutions which deny such opportunities when they could easily be provided or which force one to accept the consequences 29  See Scanlon. and so on.30 For example. Among the conditions that must be satisfied for an agent to be responsible for an action in this sense is that he must perform the action “freely. 291). 32  See Scanlon. but these are not the forms of freedom that matter most in political life. “one thing which people may reasonably demand […] is the ability to shape their lives and obligations through exercises of choice under reasonably favorable conditions. . 291. As he says.” that is.” Lecture 1.” Lecture II. What We Owe to Each Other. he acts freely in the sense required by [the] notion of responsibility [as attributability]. What We Owe to Each Other. Chapter 5. having access to relevant forms of information. but reject the idea that this carries significant practical implications. W. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10.

If what I am calling “inner freedom” is important only in the attribution of actions to agents. then we do have a reason to organize society so as to encourage inner freedom. Notice first that motivation is significant from the moral point of view. are likely to be reasonably rejectable for that reason. Inner states such as a state of inner resolution are important in the attribution of actions to agents. These general patterns of behavior should be just. have an important role to play in meeting the substantive requirements of political morality. inner freedom and outer freedom are both genuine forms of freedom. But the central question here is whether inner resolution matters only from the standpoint of attribution. I take it. But objective circumstances are what matter in assessing social institutions. 33 On Scanlon’s view. If agents in a just society do not act from an inner resolution.1163/174552412X628850 20 of choice under extremely unfavorable conditions which could be improved without great cost to others. one question has to do with the structure of society’s basic institutions and practices. then we have grounds for withholding praise and blame from them when they conform to the requirements of the social order. that they should meet the requirements of the reasonable rejection test. but they do not have the same moral significance. 33 . But once we have determined what these patterns of behavior should be. Scanlon is right that inner resolution is important in attributing actions to agents for the purposes of assigning moral praise and blame. It follows that Scanlon would agree with my claim that value coherence enhances freedom. But the fact that they do not act from an inner resolution does not. “The Significance of Choice. W. a further question arises about how people should be moved to conform to these patterns. But if inner freedom is also relevant from the perspective of meeting the substantive requirements of political morality. in fact. in itself. But he would deny that this fact carries significant practical implications. I argue that inner freedom does. then. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. give us grounds for criticizing society’s basic institutions. value coherence would lead us to participate in our basic institutions with an attitude of inner resolution. then we have no particular reason to organize society so as to encourage inner freedom. When we articulate the social and political ideal that our society should realize. Should they treat compliance with their basic institutions as a reason for action? Or would it be sufficient if they complied simply because they had an external incentive to do so? If they must  Scanlon. Insofar as we are rational.” 185. which means.

of course. we have a good example of a social and political ideal that has both a structural and a motivational component. but when society realizes the ideal. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. they must act from an appropriate. should they also endorse the underlying values embodied in these arrangements? If so. that is. The conditions of well-orderedness are background constraints on an acceptable conception of justice. Each dimension corresponds to a different aspect of what morality demands in political life. People have separate particular interests. but not a substantive requirement of justice as such. The motivational dimension has to do with the internal thoughts. In Rawls’ vision of a well-ordered society regulated by justice as fairness. W. To realize the ideal of a well-ordered society regulated by justice as fairness. how pervasive does their commitment to these values have to be? We might say that political morality has two dimensions. our institutions must have a certain structure. 35  My reading of Rousseau here follows Joshua Cohen. property. members set their personal interests aside and make decisions based only on the common good of society. But the motivational component says that citizens must regard these principles as the highestorder standards for assessing their basic institutions.1163/174552412X628850 21 treat compliance as a reason for action. but we must also have and act from the right kinds of motivations. shared sense of justice. and that they must be moved by a normally effective desire to comply with an arrangement that conforms to these principles. The structural dimension has to do with the proper ordering of society’s basic institutions and practices. This is not to deny. 2010). In their role as citizens.34 The structural component is that society’s basic institutions should be just. Citizens cannot comply with their institutions simply because they have an economic or legal incentive to do so.35 The “society of the general will” is a social and political ideal that we realize mainly in virtue of our motivational orientations. members do not regard these particular interests as reasons when deciding on what the laws should be or on whether they should comply with the laws. The motivational dimension of political morality figures even more prominently in the work of Rousseau. they should conform to the requirements of the two principles of justice.  Rawls’ view is that the requirements of social justice correspond only to the structural component of the ideal. 34 . and orientations of those whose lives are to be guided by these institutions and practices. and liberty as a reason for adopting the law or for complying with it once it has been enacted. Rousseau: A Free Community of Equals (Oxford: Oxford University Press. They take the fact that a law would advance each person’s interest in security. attitudes.

By altering our views about the requirements of these values. there is no right answer. this is mainly because these procedures help to cultivate a disposition in members to give the common good an appropriately regulative position in their decision-making. imagine that our basic institutions pass the reasonable rejection test.145-64.36 Thinking about Rawls’ theory and Rousseau’s theory helps to clarify the intuition that political morality has a genuine motivational dimension. But the structural aspects of Rousseau’s ideal derive in large part from the motivational aspects. Compliance with our basic institutions may be the product of a system of ideas that exaggerates the importance of mutual recognition and minimizes the importance of fraternity. It follows that compliance with the arrangement could not stem simply from the expression of our rational nature. rational deliberation will not lead us to a determinate conclusion. it would be morally defective in virtue of this fact. Under these conditions. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. We make up our minds by resolving disagreements among these judgments and reaching a determinate conclusion about how to act.1163/174552412X628850 22 that institutions are an important part of the ideal – for example. the ideal of a society of the general will requires that we make laws through a democratic legislative process. W. the most important feature of the motivational dimension of political morality is the requirement that the social order should be an expression of an inner resolution in citizens. some mechanism must intervene to bypass or suppress our rational nature to generate compliance. but that they make demands on us that are at odds with the requirements of other important political values. but is sustained entirely by forces that bypass or suppress our rational nature. 36 . An ideology is one possibility. To illustrate. while our rational responsiveness to the value of fraternity leads us to want not to comply. For my purposes. Other things being equal. If democratic political procedures are important in realizing the ideal. we find ourselves pulled in different directions. Our rational responsiveness to the value of mutual recognition leads us to want to comply with our basic institutions. If a social order meets the structural requirements of political morality. our desires stem from our initial judgments of what we have reason to do. such as fraternity. morality requires that people should comply with their social order (at least in part) because the order appeals to their rational capacities. however. Rousseau: A Free Community of Equals. Insofar as we are rational agents. pp. The conflict gives rise to an inner struggle to reach a determinate conclusion about what to do. In this case. the ideology would move  See Joshua Cohen.

on Rousseau’s view. compliance can only come about if some mecha­ nism bypasses our rational faculties and determines our conduct directly. not because of the way that it suppresses it. but others – such as the pursuit of various artistic. we would be left with contradictory judgments about how to act that never resolve themselves. citizens will have to suppress their self-love in order to allow for the advancement of common interests. Another possibility is instinctive deference to authority. and therefore disfigures our rational nature. journalists. cultural and religious goals – may not. As we struggle to decide what to do. In this case. The danger is rather that our institutions will require that we forego the pursuit of important objectives that are appropriately attractive to our rational nature. even if it were structurally adequate. Citizens in an ideal community. Rousseau takes an overly narrow view of the threat to wholeheartedness. The danger is not simply that our institutions may require that we make sacrifices in terms of our personal self-interest that are difficult to make. . W. but in terms of our 37  Rawls addresses a similar problem in terms of what he calls the “strains of commitment. For Rousseau. should participate in their basic institutions wholeheartedly. So the social order in this case would be morally defective.” See A Theory of Justice. Instinctive deference to authority can play this role. and so it would be motivationally defective. without having to suppress some part of themselves in the process.1163/174552412X628850 23 us to comply with our basic institutions. our rational responsiveness pulls us in different directions. 153-4. pundits. When mutual recognition and fraternity are at odds. some will relate to our personal self-interest. celebrities. Once again. and other authority figures may lead us to relax and go along with the prevailing views in society. Since there is no right answer.37 As I see it. and this gives rise to an inner struggle. that is. The importance of wholeheartedness is best understood not simply in terms of our self-love. instinctive deference to politicians. But the social order that results would be morally defective. the danger is that in a society of the general will. The ideology distorts our responses to the genuine requirements of the underlying values. A social order should be held together because of the way that it appeals to our rational nature. Among these objectives. the social order would be based on a subversion of our rational nature. Our conduct would not be determined by a conclusive judgment about what to do. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. My view of political motivation has a certain affinity with Rousseau’s view. even if it were structurally adequate. p.

we have no particular reason to welcome the fact that values cohere. but with his conception of the value of freedom. Inner freedom has practical implications. On Scanlon’s view. what is important in political life is mainly ensuring that institutions and practices conform to the requirements of the reasonable rejection test. able to participate wholeheartedly. Since inner freedom is important only from the standpoint of attributing actions to agents. Nothing I have said here is meant to deny that outer freedom is also important in the substantive assessment of our conduct in political life. Coherence among values means that we can stand in relations of mutual recognition with each other without disfiguring our rational nature. The social and political ideal for society requires (among other things) that rational agents should be at home in the social order. to have just institutions while also meeting the demand that the social order should be an expression of our rational capacities. because the members of a society must achieve inner freedom with respect to their basic institutions in order to meet the motivational requirements of political morality. it is harder to see why we should welcome the fact of value coherence. friendship.1163/174552412X628850 rational nature more generally. in one sense. But in another sense. the basic problem with his view is not with his conception of freedom itself. It matters from the moral point of view how the members of a society are moved to play their respective roles in the social order. One motivational requirement of political morality is that people should be moved to participate in ways that are consistent with the full expression of their rational nature. coherence is a “mere coincidence” because nothing in particular speaks in favor of this configuration over any of the other possibilities. Returning to Scanlon. Scanlon rightly points out that we can reasonably reject institutional arrangements that fail to put us in the proper circumstances to shape . or otherwise fail to express some aspect of their rational nature. For Scanlon. suppress. without having to ignore. I take it that we regard the possibility of value coherence to be a good thing – we welcome the idea that fraternity. then. It is possible. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. One advantage of my view is that it can account for an important intuition about value coherence. 24 W. however. But political morality has a genuine motivational dimension. and self-respect may be congruent with social justice. a “mere coincidence” since we can explain why values cohere by tracing the internal relations between them. My view accounts for this intuition. Coherence is just one configuration among many that we may see in the realm of values. in other words. This configuration is not.

Imagine that we impose a system of institutions on a population. If inner freedom is a political value. As I noted in the last section. but when faced with the certainty of the arrangement and its enforcement. Phi­ losophers such as Isaiah Berlin might accept that my argument has some force against a moderate like Scanlon. In much the same way. people may be motivated to comply with a certain arrangement because of an ideology that exaggerates the importance of certain values and minimizes the importance of others. But the situation is clearly not morally superior in virtue of the adaptation. They initially resist. But they might argue that it has no force against their position because they reject the possibility of value coherence altogether. then it seems that we should welcome this development. One traditional objection has to do with adaptive preferences. A different objection might be leveled by more radical liberals. forming an inner resolution to comply with these arrangements. namely that inner freedom requires a rationally motivated inner resolution to comply. Objections I have argued that inner freedom is an important political value. The requirements of different political values are fundamentally at odds with . W. I want to turn now to three objections to my view. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. so – critics will argue – we can see that inner freedom is not. but rather a choice between two different views of the moral significance of inner freedom. and the correct pattern of motivation involves a rationally motivated inner resolution to comply. Inner freedom requires not only that we form an inner resolution to comply. A social arrangement should be held together by the right kind of motivation. they adapt psychologically and form an inner resolution to comply. if people simply adapt to the reality of their basic institutions. this would also constitute a subversion of their rational capacities. The issue here is not a choice between inner freedom or outer freedom. who accepts the possibility of value coherence. a political value. The problem with this objection is that it does not take into account an important feature of my view. since people are now active participants in the social order.1163/174552412X628850 25 our lives through our choices. 9. but also that this inner resolution is responsive to the objective fact that we have good reason to comply. despite the fact that they do not have good reason to do so. This would not satisfy the requirements of political morality because it would involve a subversion of our rational faculties. in fact.

this does not mean that inner freedom is not a political value.1163/174552412X628850 each other. if deep value pluralism is true. It is up to Berlin-style liberals to show that their more extreme position is true. The best way to foster value coherence is to expand people’s opportunities to satisfy the requirements of other values in ways that are compatible with the requirements of social justice. and my account of his position was meant in part to show why deep value pluralism is implausible. it is far from obvious that deep value pluralism is true. I agree with Scanlon’s general approach to value coherence. but the pursuit of this value is a dangerous and threatening political project. Second. There are two things to say here. so it would require extensive coercive efforts to ensure that people form views that are compatible in the right way with the requirements of social justice. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. social institutions do not foster inner freedom. demonstrating the truth of deep value pluralism would require an argument that roughly parallels the argument that Scanlon describes. Social institutions foster inner freedom by structuring social circumstances so that the requirements of various political values are actually congruent (or at least consistent) with social justice. Several points are in order here. Inner freedom may be a political value. In any event. First. Examples such as that of friendship and self-respect illustrate how social institutions can affect the tension between different values. We could reduce this tension by reducing the economic pressures that narrow . some may object that inner freedom requires a uniformity of opinion in society that could only be sustained through massive coercion. 26 W. And examples such as that of fraternity show how some values can be satisfied in more than one way. This narrow basis for public recognition creates a conflict between the demands of self-respect and the demands of social justice. For example. All of these examples serve to show why fundamental incompatibility is implausible. by forcing people to form certain attitudes. Examples such as that of justice and scientific inquiry illustrate how different political values are internally related to each other. Finally. First. it only means that inner freedom is a value that is closed off to us because political morality is structured in such a way that we cannot achieve it. People naturally gravitate to a wide range of different views about value under free institutions. so there is very little that social institutions can do to ease the conflict among these values. proceeding on a case by case basis to show how certain types of relationships hold between different political values. Rational agents in these circumstances will naturally form an inner resolution to comply. most market societies today are dominated by a system of social recognition that revolves around material lifestyle. on my view.

he thinks that justice is a substantive value. W. It is an open question. and he thinks that freedom has a genuine inner dimension (even if this is not what matters in assessing social institutions). such as those revolving around achievements in the arts and sciences. The prison population will swell as we systematically ignore the fact that our public culture has evolved in ways that force people to choose between the requirements of social justice and the requirements of basic self-respect. Neither of these proposals involves an exceptional use of coercive power. he attempts to reconcile a commitment to liberal freedoms with important elements of the Rousseauian tradition. whether the coercive implications of maintaining value coherence are actually greater than the coercive implications of doing nothing. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10. This commitment puts him in the company of traditional liberal theorists. as I see it. Conclusion Scanlon thinks that outer freedom is what matters in assessing social institutions. Mill. and Joseph Raz. For example. I would add that liberals such as Berlin tend to dramatize the coercive implications of greater concern for value coherence. But their laissez-faire attitude has coercive implications as well. A laissez-faire attitude may thus force us to use much more coercion simply to maintain just institutions. coercive measures are necessary to maintain pathways to self-respect that are com­ patible with social justice but would otherwise be choked off by market competition. not inner freedom.1163/174552412X628850 27 the bases of public recognition. This could be done by directing market competition away from excessive reliance on advertising and marketing. public service and other endeavors. he thinks that justice coheres in important ways with other political values. But Scanlon’s political philosophy also incorporates important elements of the Rousseauian tradition. we might say that Scanlon is a Rousseauian liberal. Another way would be to encourage other patterns of recognition in society. then rational agents will constantly be pulled in the direction of violating the laws. sports. An appalling rate of incarceration may be the price that we pay for the liberal’s highminded indifference.S. Like Rawls. . Taking these various commitments together. 10. If the requirements of other political values turn out to be deeply at odds with the requirements of social justice in our society and we choose to do nothing. such as J. In each case. he rejects the agonistic view of political life. Isaiah Berlin.

Liberal freedoms are indeed important. A social order held together by an ideology or an instinctive deference to authority would be morally defective in virtue of these facts. . And the importance of inner freedom also gives us reason to structure our social and political institutions so that they deepen this harmony. The importance of inner freedom in this sense gives us reason to welcome the fact that our institutions can bring the requirements of different political values into harmony with each other. This is clearest when we consider that political morality is sensitive to the character of the motivational states that lead us to comply with our basic institutions. 28 W. but inner freedom is also a genuine political value. but also in the substantive assessment of their conduct. Hussain / Journal of Moral Philosophy (2013) DOI 10.1163/174552412X628850 In this paper. I have argued for a position that is more Rousseauian and less liberal than Scanlon’s. Political morality requires that compliance should flow from a rationally motivated inner resolution to comply. Inner freedom is a value that figures not only in the attribution of actions to agents.