David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Journal of Philosophical Studies 13 (3):405 – 437 (2005)
This paper presents a substantivist construal of discourse ethics, which claims that we should see our engagement in public deliberation as expressing and elaborating a substantive commitment to basic moral ideas of solidarity, equality, and freedom. This view is different from Habermas's standard formalist defence of discourse ethics, which attempts to derive the principle of discursive moral justification from primarily non-moral presuppositions of rational argumentation as such. After explicating the difference between the substantivist and the formalist construal, I defend the former by showing that it is not only intuitively compelling, but also particularly well equipped for addressing four important objections recently levelled against discourse ethics and its political applications (Rawls's concern that it lacks substantive guidelines, Gunnarsson's challenge that it has not been proven to be superior to alternative moral conceptions such as utilitarianism, Scanlon's complaint that it lacks an account of moral motivation, and Galston's and Young's worries that it could lead to political practices of cultural imposition). I conclude by pointing out some consequences of the previous discussion for the future of Critical Theory.
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
John Rawls (1993). Political Liberalism. Columbia University Press.
Thomas Pogge (2005). World Poverty and Human Rights. Ethics and International Affairs 19 (1):1–7.
David M. Rasmussen, Jurgen Habermas, Christian Lenhardt & Shierry Weber Nicholsen (1993). Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action. Philosophical Quarterly 43 (173):571.
J. Rawls (1995). Political Liberalism. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Citations of this work BETA
Stefan Rummens (2007). Democratic Deliberation as the Open-Ended Construction of Justice. Ratio Juris 20 (3):335-354.
Pablo Gilabert (2006). Considerations on the Notion of Moral Validity in the Moral Theories of Kant and Habermas. Kant-Studien 97 (2):210-227.
Christian Rostbøll (2009). Dissent, Criticism, and Transformative Political Action in Deliberative Democracy. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 12 (1):19-36.
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