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Leslie Green on the Nature of Limited Government

Leslie Green has posted The Nature of Limited Government at SSRN.

Here is the abstract:

This paper explores moral limits on state action: their sources, character, and stringency. It explains what is special about the liberal tradition: there must be a protected sphere of action, and governments must respect legality. It argues, against Patrick Devlin, that the possible absence of absolute moral reasons against intrusion in a sphere is consistent with justified absolute positive limits on government intrusion. It argues, against John Finnis, that the fact that some associations (e.g. churches or marriages or universities) intrinsically valuable ‘common goods’ does not entitle them to immunity from government regulation. It concludes by suggesting why certain ‘natural law’ moralities have been considered unreasonably intrusive, for they neglect the significance of moral fallibility for limited government.

Leslie Green is Professor of the Philosophy of Law and Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford, and Professor of Law and Distinguished University Fellow at Queen’s University, Canada.

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