Publication details

Katolické výhrady vůči liberálnímu chápání svobody a sociálního řádu

Title in English Catholic Reservations about the Liberal Conception of Liberty and Social Order


Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Studia theologica
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Autonomy; Catholicism; Common Good; Liberalism; Liberty; Participation; Political Theory; Social Ontology
Description This article is a contribution to the recurrent debates on the (in)compatibility between Catholic and liberal tradition. It focuses on the differences between these traditions concerning their conceptual foundations: liberty and, more extensively, social order. In the first part, the article characterizes the most important doctrinal elements of liberal and Catholic political theory. In liberal tradition, the emphasis is upon normative and ontological individualism and the primacy of individual liberty. Catholic social ontology offers a rich understanding of social order where it differentiates between partnerships and communities. This is linked to the specific conceptualization of the common good which is more robustly conceived than in its liberal counterparts. In the second part, the article delineates the different meanings of liberty in contemporary liberal political theory. It demonstrates that the Catholic tradition unambiguously prefers the positive concept of liberty. Next, it dialectically moves to the concept of autonomy. Some versions of autonomy are closer to the Catholic tradition than others, but overall, the Catholic conception is based on a richer metaphysical foundation that links liberty with participation in the common good. The article culminates with D. C. Schindler’s metaphysical criticism of the basic building blocks of liberal thought, which explains the reasons why the liberal conception of the common good cannot accommodate its Catholic counterpart.
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