Rawls's wide view of public reason: Not wide enough

Res Publica 6 (1):49-72 (2000)
Abstract
What sorts of reasons are i) required and ii) morally acceptable when citizens in a pluralist liberal democracy undertake to resolve pressing political issues? This paper presents and then critically examines John Rawls''s answer to this question: his so called wide-view of public reason. Rawls''s view requires that the content of liberal public reason prove rich enough to yield a reasoned and determinate resolution for most if not all fundamental political issues. I argue that the content of liberal public reason will prove inadequate in this regard far more often than Rawls suspects.
Keywords citizenship  civic virtue  democracy  liberalism  political legitimacy  public reason  Rawls
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Mathew Humphrey (2008). Environmentalism, Fairness, and Public Reasons. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 11 (2):177-192.
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