Hvordan udlægger andre de tanker, man har gjort sig skriftligt og offentligt om et emne, og hvilken effekt har udlægningerne i forhold til rubricering af en selv og ens arbejde fremover? Retsfilosoffen Joseph Raz skrev i midt-1980’erne The Morality of Freedom, og har i forbindelse med en konference givet sig selv en chance for at genlæse bogen, og reflektere over hvad der skete efter dens udgivelse. Det er der kommet en hyggelæsnings-artikel ud af, som kan hentes på SSRN.

Jeg vil gerne fremhæve et par observationer, som jeg mener også gælder den danske debat, eksemplificeret ved fx borgerligheds-diskussionen.

Far too many philosophical publications [der kunne ligeså vel havde stået kronikker eller længere Facebook-opdateringer, Nikolaj] are concerned not with which ideas are sound, or what arguments are good, but whether this or that author or this or that publication belongs or does not belong with some school of thought. To mention but one example: much writing in political philosophy is preoccupied with establishing the credentials, or lack thereof, of a writer as a liberal, or a political liberal. I secretly enjoyed reactions to the book that condemned it for not being true to liberalism. Were they condemning liberalism as a mistaken political theory (exposed as such by the book)? No, the comment appeared to be made by people for whom party credentials were what mattered most.

Og videre, om liberalismen, som ideologi:

I do not believe that liberalism is (or contains) a political theory or family of theories united by shared core doctrines. Theories commonly identified as liberal diverge on many central issues, and resemble non-liberal theories (that is ones that are not commonly classified as liberal) on other issues. Liberalism is best understood as a historical phenomenon identified by lines of historical development, by cross references that express the appeal that some writers had for others, and often by a common temperament.

Denne punditokrat er tilbøjelig til at være enig i karakteristikken, som udelukker det trick, visse debattører bruger, hvormed de siger, at man ikke er liberal, fordi man mener eller ikke mener X.