Human Flourishing, Liberal Theory, and the Arts
A Liberalism of Flourishing
This book claims that in addition to autonomy, liberal tradition recognizes human flourishing as an ideal of the good life. There are two versions of the liberalism of flourishing: for one the good life consists in the ability of an individual to develop her intellectual and moral capabilities, and for the other the good life is one in which an individual succeeds in materializing her varied human capabilities. Both versions expect the state to create the background conditions for flourishing.
Combining the history of ideas with analytical political philosophy, Menachem Mautner finds the roots of the liberalism of flourishing in the works of great philosophers, and argues that for individuals to reach flourishing they need to engage with art. Art provides us with wisdom, insight, critical social and political thinking, and moral education. Thus, a state which practices the liberalism of flourishing must play an active role in funding the creation and dissemination of art. Consequently, the liberalism of flourishing is better equipped than autonomy liberalism to compete with religion in the domains of meaning and over the shape of the regime, the political culture and the law in countries in which liberalism is contested.
Political theorists and lawyers will enjoy engaging with this version of liberalism, as will students of social democracy and art policy.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Liberalism of Flourishing: Two Versions
Chapter 1: Intellectualist-Moralist Liberalism of Flourishing
Chapter 2: Comprehensive Liberalism of Flourishing
Chapter 3: The Liberalism of Flourishing and Autonomy Liberalism: Some Comparisons
Part II: Flourishing, Art, and the State
Chapter 4: Art and Flourishing
Chapter 5: Art and the Liberal State
Part III: Liberalism, Art, and Religion
Chapter 6: Liberalism, Religion, Nationalism: Liberalism in the Domains of Meaning
Menachem Mautner is the Danielle Rubinstein Professor of Comparative Civil Law and Jurisprudence at the Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University. He holds a LL.B and a LL.M from the Faculty of Law of Tel Aviv University, and a LL.M. and J.S.D. from Yale Law School. He is the author of six books, including Law and the Culture of Israel published in 2011. (An Italian version, Dirito e Cultura in Israele, translated with an introduction by Daniela Bifulco and Fulvio Cortese, was published in 2014 by Franco Angeli, Milano.) Mautner has edited six books, and published over 90 articles and chapters in books in Israel, the United States and Britain (including in the law reviews of Yale, Michigan and Cornell universities). In 2014 he served as head of the "Sapir Prize of Literature Committee", the Israeli equivalent of the British Man Booker Prize for Fiction.