Reciprocity and reasonable disagreement: From liberal to democratic legitimacy

Philosophical Studies 132 (2):243 - 291 (2007)
At the center of Rawls’s work post-1980 is the question of how legitimate coercive state action is possible in a liberal democracy under conditions of reasonable disagreement. And at the heart of Rawls’s answer to this question is his liberal principle of legitimacy. In this paper I argue that once we attend carefully to the depth and range of reasonable disagreement, Rawls’s liberal principle of legitimacy turns out to be either wildly utopian or simply toothless, depending on how one reads the ideal of reciprocity it is meant to embody. To remedy this defect in Rawls’s theory, I␣undertake to develop the outlines of a democratic conception of legitimacy, drawing first on Rawls’s generic conception of legitimacy in The Law of Peoples and second on a revised understanding of reciprocity between free and equal citizens. On this revised understanding, what free and equal citizens owe one another is not reciprocity in judgment, but reciprocity of interests.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Religion   Philosophy of Mind   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,217
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Laura Valentini (2012). Assessing the Global Order: Justice, Legitimacy, or Political Justice? Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15 (5):593-612.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

65 ( #73,607 of 1,932,483 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #149,261 of 1,932,483 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.