The pursuit of idealized and perfect theories of justice—essentially, the entire production of theories of justice that has dominated political philosophy for the past forty years—needs to change. A heterogeneous society—with its various religious, moral, and political perspectives—could never be collectively devoted to any single ideal. In this pluralistic, open society the very clash and disagreement of ideals spurs all to better understand what their personal ideals of justice happen to be.
This fragmentation of moral opinion, characteristic of free societies, makes it impossible to arrive at consensus about the ultimate ideal, because some degree of consensus is necessary in order to undertake a remaking of society. … Gaus shows that pluralism and disagreement improve our odds of stumbling on the truth about the good society, even if the multiplication of moral perspectives makes it impractical and objectionable to restructure society on the plan of any one sect’s ideal.