David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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This paper relates the concept of “discourse” (in the discourse-ethics’ meaning) with the concept of “social justice.” I maintain that the social nature of reason is a condition of possibility of such justice. According to the Alexy-Habermas system, the rules for the practical discourse mean in their third level the conditions of symmetry, that is, the absence of privileges among the participants. My paper introduces the concept of discursive fairness, referred to the requirements for maintaining the discursive symmetry, even under circumstances of non-discursive, but real asymmetry. Two principles of discursive fairness are offered (by analogy to Rawls’ “principles of justice”): 1. equality of rights among the participants in the practical discourse, and 2. possibility of reviewing all arguments used in the discourse, together with guarantees of benefits for the unsuccessful participants
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