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By Christine Sypnowich

Bringing jointly a few of the world's top political philosophers, this enticing quantity displays the wide-ranging issues within the paintings of G. A. Cohen. the amount includes essays on a couple of key issues, united through questions of social justice, pluralism, equality, and ethical accountability.

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Extra info for The Egalitarian Conscience: Essays in Honour of G. A. Cohen

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205). 6 The debates at the Convention are full of references to the institutional arrangements of antiquity, so I assume that ignorance of the secret ballot was not the reason nobody proposed it. I agree, therefore, with Keyssar when he writes that the American elite ‘were performing an impressive feast of ideological alchemy: providing an ostensibly egalitarian defense of an overtly anti-egalitarian policy’ (2000: 11). The most eloquent along these lines is perhaps Madison’s argument at the Convention to the eVect that an upper house serves Wrst to protect the people against their rulers: secondly to protect the people agst.

If we interpret the liberal egalitarian model in this way, I think that some of the concerns raised by WolV, Anderson, and ScheZer can be assuaged. Of course, our trust may be abused by some of our less scrupulous co-citizens. But if we are successful in inculcating an ethos of good citizenship that emphasizes the importance of voluntarily accepting personal responsibility Left-Liberalism Revisited 25 for our own choices, there may be few such abuses. This may seem naive or inconsistent, and I will return to this question later.

A. Cohen cites George Eliot’s characterization of Bulstrode as ‘a man whose desires had been stronger than his theoretical beliefs, and who had gradually explained the gratiWcation of his desires into satisfactory agreement with those beliefs. If this be hypocrisy, it is a process which shows itself occasionally in all of us, to whatever confession we belong’. In his own work, Cohen has considered the tension between the ‘theoretical belief ’ in equality and the ‘desire’ for material well-being.

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