David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Politics, Philosophy and Economics 3 (2):191-220 (2004)
A common objection to the idea of public reason is that it cannot resolve fundamental political issues because it excludes too many moral considerations from the political domain. Following an important but often overlooked distinction drawn by Gerald Gaus, there are two ways to understand this objection. First, public reason is often said to be inconclusive because it fails to generate agreement on fundamental political issues. Second, and more radically, some critics have claimed that public reason is indeterminate because it cannot provide any citizen with sufficient reason(s) for making important political decisions. Against the first of these objections, I argue that the purpose of public reason is not to end reasonable disagreement. Rather, it is to provide a suitable framework of values and principles within which citizens may resolve their moral and political differences. Against the second objection, I argue, first, that the indeterminacy of public reason is much less common than its inconclusiveness; and, second, that there are second-order decision-making strategies that may enable citizens to cope with cases of indeterminacy. The incompleteness of public reason, whether it takes the form of inconclusiveness or indeterminacy, is not a reason for citizens to abandon their commitment to public justification. Key Words: public reason public justification political liberalism Rawls Gaus.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Stephen de Wijze (2007). Shamanistic Incantations? Rawls, Reasonableness and Secular Fundamentalism. Politics and Ethics Review 3 (1):109-128.
Marek Hrubec (2008). On Conditions of Participation: The Deficits of Public Reason. Human Affairs 18 (1).
Similar books and articles
Kevin Vallier (2011). Against Public Reason Liberalism's Accessibility Requirement. Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (3):366-389.
R. Westmoreland (1999). The Truth About Public Reason. Law and Philosophy 18 (3):271-296.
David A. Reidy (2000). Rawls's Wide View of Public Reason: Not Wide Enough. Res Publica 6 (1):49-72.
Micah Lott (2006). Restraint on Reasons and Reasons for Restraint: A Problem for Rawls' Ideal of Public Reason. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (1):75–95.
Andrew Williams (2000). The Alleged Incompleteness of Public Reason. Res Publica 6 (2):199-211.
Kevin Vallier (2012). Liberalism, Religion And Integrity. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):149 - 165.
Fabienne Peter (2007). Rawls' Idea of Public Reason and Democratic Legitimacy. Journal of International Political Theory 3 (1):129-143.
Richard M. Buck (2001). Sincerity and Reconciliation in Public Reason. Social Philosophy Today 17:21-35.
Christie Hartley & Lori Watson (2009). Feminism, Religion, and Shared Reasons: A Defense of Exclusive Public Reason. Law and Philosophy 28 (5):493 - 536.
Hans von Rautenfeld (2004). Charitable Interpretations: Emerson, Rawls, and Cavell on the Use of Public Reason. Political Theory 32 (1):61-84.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads50 ( #27,179 of 1,088,601 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,601 )
How can I increase my downloads?