Does Respect Require Antiperfectionism? Gaus on Liberal Neutrality

16 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2015 Last revised: 22 Feb 2019

Date Written: September 11, 2015


Gerald Gaus has developed the most sophisticated presentation of the antiperfectionist idea that official neutrality between contested conceptions of the good is demanded by mutual respect among citizens. However, other aspects of his own political theory -- in particular, his demonstration of the legitimacy of social coordination toward common ends -- inadvertently strengthen the case for perfectionism.

Keywords: Gerald Gaus, Perfectionism, Liberalism, Political Theory

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Koppelman, Andrew M., Does Respect Require Antiperfectionism? Gaus on Liberal Neutrality (September 11, 2015). Harvard Review of Philosophy, Forthcoming, Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 15-15, Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 15-45, Available at SSRN: or

Andrew M. Koppelman (Contact Author)

Northwestern University School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-8431 (Phone)

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