David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Politics, Philosophy and Economics 4 (3):301-330 (2005)
Reasonable people disagree deeply about the nature of the good life. But reasonable people also disagree fundamentally about principles of justice. If this is true, then why does political liberalism permit the state to act on reasons of justice, but not for reasons grounded in conceptions of the good life? There appears to be an indefensible asymmetry in the way political liberalism treats disagreements about justice and disagreements about the good life. This is the asymmetry objection to political liberalism. The principal aim of this article is to show that the asymmetry objection can be refuted. This is done by drawing a distinction between two different types of reasonable disagreement that can occur between citizens. The first type is foundational disagreement . Disagreements of this type are characterized by the fact that the participants do not share any premises which can serve as a mutually acceptable standard of justification. The second type of disagreement, justificatory disagreement , occurs when participants do share premises that serve as a mutually acceptable standard of justification, but they nevertheless disagree about certain substantive conclusions. Making this distinction allows me to show why political liberalisms asymmetric treatment of justice and the good life is both defensible and desirable. Key Words: John Rawls perfectionism political liberalism public reason reasonable pluralism.
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Chad Van Schoelandt (2015). Justification, Coercion, and the Place of Public Reason. Philosophical Studies 172 (4):1031-1050.
Daniel M. Weinstock (2006). A Neutral Conception of Reasonableness? Episteme 3 (3):234-247.
Kevin Vallier (forthcoming). On Jonathan Quong’s Sectarian Political Liberalism. Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-20.
Philip Shadd (2015). Why the Facts Matter to Public Justification. Critical Review 27 (2):1-15.
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