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Mutual Respect and Neutrality

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DOI: 10.38007/Proceedings.0001835


Yan Zhang

Corresponding Author

Yan Zhang


Abstract: In this article, I revisit the idea of mutual respect and show that it does not run afoul of Rawls’s commitment to neutrality. By neutrality, Rawls means neutrality of aim; neutrality is achieved if the aims promoted are acceptable to people regardless of their conception of the good. If this is the case, mutual respect, a value acceptable to all reasonable people, is compatible with neutrality. Meanwhile, as an appropriate reaction to the ineradicable fact of reasonable pluralism, mutual respect expresses the idea that people can understand each other and narrow their division through effective communication, which indicates that reasonable people can absorb ideas from others and revisit their own conception of the good. So mutual respect implies revisability. All in all, if we accept the fact of pluralism and hold hopes that we can reach an understanding through communication and compromise, we should accept mutual respect as a basis of political liberalism.


Keywords: Pluralism, Mutual Respect, Neutrality, Revisability