Subjectivist perfectionism

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3 Scopus citations


This paper critically discusses a neglected view in contemporary political theory. Subjectivist perfectionism combines a fully subjectivist understanding of the human good with the perfectionist claim that it is permissible for the state to promote the good, actively and intentionally, of its members. The paper clarifies the subjectivism in question and shows how it can inform state efforts to promote the good. The paper also explains how more traditional perfectionist views, which are informed by an objective account of the human good, can learn from it. The paper concludes by arguing that proponents of subjectivist perfectionism are particularly well positioned to respond to and rebut Michael Kramer's central objection to mainstream perfectionist views in his provocative book Liberalism with Excellence. This is the charge that political perfectionists manifest an objectionable busybody mentality, one that is eschewed by his own favored form of justice-based perfectionism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-131
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Journal of Jurisprudence
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


  • Liberalism
  • Matthew Kramer
  • Perfectionism
  • Subjectivism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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