Equal Accessibility to All: Habermas, Pragmatism, and the Place of Religious Beliefs in a Post-Secular Society
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Constellations 19 (2):267-287 (2012)
This paper explores the epistemological impact of the idea of post-secularism on the concept of public reason. It does so by examining a strand of the Rawls-Habermas debate on the role of religious beliefs within public reason. The paper identifies a difficulty in the liberal solution that depends upon the unwillingness to challenge the proviso-like conception of public reason and contends that this difficulty is overcome neither by Habermas’ “institutional” version of proviso nor by Cristina Lafont’s version of “mutual accountability” proviso. Once acknowledged this blind spot in the theory of public reason, the paper proceeds to show that a pragmatist-based conception of public reason can overcome this shortcoming as it grants to religious beliefs a role that does not compromise the liberal ethics of citizenship while at the same time does not frustrate the communitarian and religious call for a less restrictive conception of the public sphere. The conclusion this paper brings home is that a proviso-free public reason is necessary for tackling the theoretical challenge of defending liberalism in a post-secular society.
|Keywords||John Dewey Jurgen Habermas Christina Lafont Normative Practices|
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Roberto Frega (2013). From Normative Spheres to Normative Practices: New Prospects for Normative Theory After Habermas. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (5):680-712.
Roberto Frega (2013). Rehabilitating Warranted Assertibility: Moral Inquiry and the Pragmatic Basis of Objectivity. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (1):1-23.
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