Both in criminal law science and in the judicial practice there are a lot of discussions as to what should be considered as the beginning and end of human life. Birth and death are not instantaneous acts, but rather processes made up of time-spans that can be construed as evidence of the beginning or end of a human life. From a biological point of view the human life is a constant, continuous metabolic process after cessation of which the (...) human life also ceases. These circumstances very much aggravate the definition of criteria of the moments of beginning and end of human life. There are disagreements in the criminal law science with respect to from which moment the human life is to be protected by the criminal law. Herewith this presupposes also the other problematic question—what is to be considered a “living human” as a homicide subject (a victim). Complication of the said question is also determined by the fact that it is related not only to legal but also to medical, religious, and moral aspects. This article exactly analyses certain aspects of the beginning and end of human life in the context of the homicide composition attributes. (shrink)
In this paper, a survey is made of some of the contributionsto the interpretation of Hartle and Hawking's theory of thewave function of the universe and its beginning. It is arguedthat there are considerable difficulties with the interpretationof the theory, but that there is at least one interpretationhitherto not found in the literature which survives existingphilosophical objections.
Given four modest verificationist theses, tying the meaning of talk about instants and periods to the events which (physically) could occur during, before or after them, the only content to the claim the Universe had a beginning (applicable equally to chaotic or orderly universes) is in terms of it being preceded by empty time. It follows that time cannot have a beginning. The Universe, however, could have a beginning--even if it has lasted for an infinite time.
There is sufficient evidence at present to justify the belief that the universe began to exist without being caused to do so. This evidence includes the Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems that are based on Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, and the recently introduced Quantum Cosmological Models of the early universe. The singularity theorems lead to an explication of the beginning of the universe that involves the notion of a Big Bang singularity, and the Quantum Cosmological Models represent the beginning (...) largely in terms of the notion of a vacuum fluctuation. Theories that represent the universe as infinitely old or as caused to begin are shown to be at odds with or at least unsupported by these and other current cosmological notions. (shrink)
By analyzing the meaning of time I argue, without endorsing operationalism, that time is necessarily related to physical systems which can serve as clocks. This leads to a version of relationism about time which entails that there is no time 'before' the universe. Three notions of metaphysical 'time' (associated, respectively, with time as a mathematical concept, substantivalism, and modal relationism) which might support the idea of time 'before' the universe are discussed. I argue that there are no good reasons to (...) believe that metaphysical 'time' can be identified with what we ordinarily call time. I also briefly review and criticize the idea of time 'before' the big bang, associated with some recent speculative models in modern cosmology, and I argue that if the big bang model is a (roughly) correct description of our universe, then the best current answer to the question in the title is that time did have a beginning. (shrink)
Central to recent debate over the Kalam Cosmological Argument, and over the origin of the universe in general, has been the issue of whether the universe began to exist and, if so, how this is to be understood. Adolf Grünbaum has used two cosmological models as a basis for arguing that the universe did not begin to exist according to either of them. Concentrating in this paper on the second (“open interval”) model, I argue that he is wrong on both (...) counts. I give metaphysical considerations for rejecting Grünbaum’s interpretation of the second model and offer a definition of the beginning of existence of an object that improves on prior formulations and that is adequate to show how the universe can indeed be seen to have begun to exist. I conclude with a more general metaphysical discussion of the beginning of the universe and of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. (shrink)
In this paper, a survey is made of some of the contributions to the interpretation of Hartle and Hawking's theory of the wave function of the universe and its beginning. It is argued that there are considerable difficulties with the interpretation of the theory, but that there is at least one interpretation hitherto not found in the literature which survives existing philosophical objections.
This paper reconsiders certain of Kierkegaard's criticisms of Hegel's theoretical philosophy in the light of recent interpretations of the latter. The paper seeks to show how these criticisms, far from being merely parochial or rhetorical, turn on central issues concerning the nature of thought and what it is to think. I begin by introducing Hegel's conception of "pure thought" as this is distinguished by his commitment to certain general requirements on a properly philosophical form of inquiry. I then outline (...) Hegel's strategy for resolving a crucial problem he takes himself to face. For his account of the nature of thought depends upon the idea of a form of inquiry in which nothing whatsoever is presupposed; but this idea appears basically paradoxical inasmuch as the mere act of beginning to inquire in a certain way embodies an assumption about how it is appropriate to begin. Turning to Kierkegaard, I consider a key objection to the effect that Hegel's strategy for resolving this paradox depends on the incoherent idea of a purely reflexive act of thinking. Finally, I draw out some central features of the alternative account of "situated" thought and inquiry which Kierkegaard presents as distinctively Socratic. (shrink)
is conscious of a beginning and end calls change time. But in reality there is no time, there is only change. The universe had no beginning and has no ending, it just is. Time to man is an illusion. Just as man once thought that the world was flat, that Earth was the center of the universe, that the sun rose and set and that he had free will, so he thinks that there is a beginning..
In the beginning was the word, or grunt, or groan, or signal of some sort. This, however, hardly qualifies as an information revolution, at least in any standard technological sense. Nature is replete with meaningful signs, and we must imagine that our early ancestors noticed natural patterns that helped to determine when to sow and when to reap, which animal tracks to follow, what to eat, and so forth. Spoken words at first must have been meaningful in some similar (...) sense. But in time the word became flesh (corpus) and dwelt among us, as "inscription" (literally, to put into writing) inaugurated the dawn of human history. This did not happen instantly. One place to enter the story is with clay tokens to represent trade transactions that in time became accounting tablets and, then, the world's first literature (Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, The Epic of Gilgamesh, etc.) and codes of law (The Codes of Ur-Nammu, Lipit-Ishtar, Hammurabi, and so forth.) This event happened around the north shore of the Persian Gulf sometime in the 4th millennium BCE and was enshrouded in mystery as the role of the scribe trained in the art of inscribing and deciphering signs belonged to the priest (Deibert 1997). With the sanction of religion, writing gave birth to "civility" (literally, life in the city) and defined the line between "history" and "pre-history," the latter being a term designating everything that happened before. There is little doubt that the invention of writing was significant and that it deserves recognition as the first revolution in the history of information. Life as we live it today would have been impossible otherwise. Innovations in writing technologies happened with significant effects, but at various points in the history of information, changes in technology were so dramatic that they reshaped the course of human history in radical ways. The revolution in printing is well-studied; the invention of the printing press and movable type (c.. (shrink)
You can search this site: Note that this analysis of a beginning of time concerns intervals ’of the same length' ; if this qualifying phrase is not added, then the analysis would be invalid for a dense time. If time is dense and began, then for each interval of time there is another interval of a shorter length that is a part of that interval and which completely elapses before the interval of which it is (...) a part completely elapses. Before the first hour completely elapses, the first minute does so, and before the first minute, the first second, and so on ad infinitum. This entails that there is no 'first moment' of time in the sense of an interval that precedes every other interval, but there is a 'first moment' in the sense that there is a first interval of each length of time: there is a first hour, a first minute, etc. (shrink)
In Australia, as in many countries, the early advertising industry had a poor reputation for honesty. However, in 1920 ?truth in advertising? and raising ethical behavior became the focus of the Second Convention of Advertising Men of Australasia, held in Sydney. This was a major event in Australia's advertising history and was seen as a way to legitimize the industry in the eyes of those who doubted advertising's honesty. This paper will look at the Sydney Advertising Convention, with particular reference (...) to quotes from presenters and the establishment of self-regulatory bodies, to help gain an insight into the beginning of a system to observe ethical behavior in advertising. (shrink)
Must there have been a First Event in the history of the universe? Or might it be the case that something or other (maybe something very small) has always existed? Aquinas famously held that this question could not be settled by natural reas onÂ–that without divine revelation we would have no way of knowing that God created the world out of nothing finitely many years ago. But other medieval theologians, less under the sway of Aristotle, rejected this view of the (...) matter. According to these thi nkers, it could be proved that the universe had a beginning in time. And to their way of thinking, this provided the crucial premise for a very simple demonstration of God's existenceÂ–or at least of the existence of a First Cause that brought the u niverse into existence finitely many years ago. (shrink)
: Scientific observation is determined by the human sensory system, which generally relies on instruments that serve as mediators between the world and the senses. Instruments came in the shape of Heron's Dioptra, Levi Ben Gerson's Cross-staff, Egnatio Danti's Torqvetto Astronomico, Tycho's Quadrant, Galileo's Geometric Military Compass, or Kepler's Ecliptic Instrument. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, however, it was unclear how an instrument such as the telescope could be employed to acquire new information and expand knowledge about (...) the world. To exploit the telescope as a device for astronomical observations Galileo had to: 1. establish that telescopic images are not optical defects, imperfections in the eye of the observer, or illusions caused by lenses; 2. develop procedures for systematically handling errors that may occur during observation and measurement and methods of processing data. Galileo made it clear that in order to measure and interpret natural phenomena accurately, a suitable method and instrument would need to be developed. It is intriguing, therefore, to regard the Galilean telescope in this light and to discover the linkage established by Galileo among theory, method, and instrument—the telescope. Although the telescope was not invented through science, it is instructive to see how Galileo used optics to employ a theory-laden instrument for bridging the gulf between picture and scientific language, between drawing and reporting physical facts, and between merely sketching the world and actually describing it. (shrink)
This essay shows why Karl Rahner’s “Chalcedon: End or Beginning?,” also titled “Current Problems in Christology” (1954), stands as a breakthrough in contemporary Catholic Christology. After describing the Neo-Thomism and Neo-Scholasticism of the early twentieth century, it examines one instance of this body of thought: Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s “Christ the Savior” (1946). Then, the essay reviews the argument of “Chalcedon: End or Beginning?” Finally, it contrasts Garrigou-Lagrange’s literal Thomism and Rahner’s transcendental Thomism.
One will never be able to interrogate wonder philosophically except by way of a questioning that the operation of wonder will already have determined. It is a well-known teaching in the writings of both Plato and Aristotle that wonder (thauma) is the beginning of philosophy. But few philosophers have given wonder much thought—certainly, no philosopher that I am aware of has, like Professor Sallis, returned time and again to think through wonder. Sallis’s thinking through wonder is guided by his (...) reading of ancient Greek philosophy, and furthermore, as I hope to show, it opens up a reengagement with Greek philosophers—in particular, with those early Greek thinkers who are known collectively as the .. (shrink)
This paper documents the beginning of a conversation about what it means to be Mäori within a larger, mainstream research project. This larger project was conceived by a team of researchers that included a Mäori principal investigator, and funding was gained from a funding agency that has established criteria for Mäori responsiveness. The Mäori component of the project was, however, not initially conceived of as separate from the non-Mäori component. Discussions about this were initiated approximately one year into the (...) project in response to Mäori team members' desires to undertake Kaupapa Mäori research. This effectively means that the Mäori team colects and analyses the Mäori research data prior to re-engaging with the full research team. While there is a level of uncertainty about how this process will play itself out, there is a commitment to continue a constructive conversation within the team and to journey together in good faith and trust. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to take a close look at some little discussed aspects of the kalam cosmological argument, with a view to deciding whether there is any reason to believe the causal principle on which it rests (“Whatever begins to exist must have a cause”), and also with a view to determining what conclusions can be drawn about the nature of the First Cause of the universe (supposing thatthere is one). I am particularly concerned with the problems (...) that arise when it is assumed (as it often is) that that the First Cause is timeless and that it timelessly creates time. I argue that this forces the defender of the kalam argument to analyze the concept of “beginning to exist” in a way that raises series doubts about its main causal principle, and that it also undercuts the main argument for saying that the cause of the universe must be a person. (shrink)
Henrique Jales Ribeiro (Ed.): Rhetoric and Argumentation in the Beginning of the XXIst Century . Coimbra University Press, Coimbra, 2009, 312 pp Content Type Journal Article Pages 513-518 DOI 10.1007/s10503-010-9194-3 Authors C. Andone, Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Spuistraat 134, 1012 VB Amsterdam, The Netherlands Journal Argumentation Online ISSN 1572-8374 Print ISSN 0920-427X Journal Volume Volume 24 Journal Issue Volume 24, Number 4.
In the beginning was the triangle, the apostles of semiology say. In arguing for a semiological approach to literature, this paper highlights first that theconsecrated semiotic triangle seen in perspective proves to be a pyramid, with its faces consisting of minimal semiotic triads; it then suggests that the pyramidalsemiotic constructs within a given context project the figure of infinite semiosis; finally, it proposes an illustration of the literary process of signification using thealchemical image of the clepsydra.
The reach of explanations -- Closer to reality -- The spark -- Creation -- The reality of abstractions -- The jump to universality -- Artificial creativity -- A window on infinity -- Optimism -- A dream of Socrates -- The multiverse -- A physicist's history of bad philosophy -- Choices -- Why are flowers beautiful? -- The evolution of culture -- The evolution of creativity -- Unsustainable -- The beginning.
The University of Leipzig was founded in the year 1409. In the faculty of arts - the heart and the basis of the old university as a whole - there were numerous controversies during the first century of its existence. From the very beginning it competed with the older University of Prague, its historic mother, for an independent manner of philosophical thinking. The so-called » Wegestreit « between the via moderna and the via antiqua , and the » Poetenstreit (...) « between traditional and new humanistic patterns of science and philosophy were constituents of late medieval philosophy in Germany. Especially the various forms of academic disputation, that is ordinary, extraordinary and quodlibetal disputations, played an important part within the first hundred years of existence of this university, specifically its faculty of arts. The famous disputation between Johann Eck and Martin Luther at Leipzig in the year 1519 was one of the culminating points of this practice. Considerable work remains to be done on the exploration of late medieval philosophy. The analysis of the collection of medieval philosophical manuscripts originating from the old University of Leipzig could provide some new material for our historical knowledge of this period. (shrink)
Early in this volume, David Ehrenfeld describes what prophecy really is. Referring to the biblical prophets, he says they were not the "holy fortunetellers that the word prophet has come to signify....The business of prophecy is not simply foretelling the future; rather it is describing the present with exceptional truthfulness and accuracy." Once this is done, then it can be seen that broad aspects of the future have suddenly become apparent. The twentieth century is drawing to a chaotic close amidst (...) portents of unprecedented change and upheaval. The unravelling of societies and civilizations and the destruction of nature march together--linked--a fact whose enormous significance is often lost. In Beginning Again, David Ehrenfeld has undertaken the difficult task of describing the present clearly enough to reveal the future. Out of his broad vision emerges a glimpse of a new millennium: a vision at once frightening and comforting, a scene of great devastation and great rebuilding. Ehrenfeld ranges far and wide to present a coherent vision of our relationship with Nature--its many aspects and implications--as our century opens into the next millennium. Whether he is writing about the problem of loyalty to organizations, rights versus obligations, our over-managed society, the vanishing of established knowledge, the failure of experts, the triumph of dandelions, Dr. Seuss, Edward Teller, or the future of farming, he is always concerned with the intricate interaction between technology and nature. As in his classic book, The Arrogance of Humanism, Ehrenfeld never loses sight of our fatal love affair with the fantasy of control. We now have no choice, he argues, but to transform the dream of control, of progress, from one of overweening hubris, love of consumption, and the idiot's goal of perpetual growth, to one based on "the inventive imitation of nature," with its honesty, beauty, resilience, and durability. Few American writers and even fewer scientists can describe these timeless, transcendent qualities of nature so well. In "Places," the opening chapter, David Ehrenfeld tells about nightly vigils he spent alone on the moonlit beach of Tortuguero, watching giant sea turtles emerging from the sea to lay their eggs in the black sand where they were born. "I could watch the perfect white spheres falling," he writes. "Falling as they have fallen for a hundred million years, with the same slow cadence, always shielded from the rain or stars by the same massive bulk with the beaked head and the same large, myopic eyes rimmed with crusts of sand washed out by tears. Minutes and hours, days and months dissolve into eons. I am on an Oligocene beach, an Eocene beach, a Cretaceous beach--the scene is the same. It is night, the turtles are coming back, always back; I hear a deep hiss of breath and catch a glint of wet shell as the continents slide and crash, the oceans form and grow.". (shrink)
This paper presents a method for investigating counterfactual histories of science. A central notion to our theory of science are "advances" (ideas, data, etc.), which are units passed among scientists and which would be conserved in passing from one possible history to another. Advances are connected to each other by nets of causal influence, and we distinguish strong and weak influences. Around sixty types of advances are grouped into ten classes. As our case study, we examine the beginning of (...) the Old Quantum Theory, using a computer to store and process historical information. We describe four plausible possible histories, along with six other implausible ones. (shrink)
Halakhah and ethics in the Jesus tradition -- Matthew's divorce texts in the light of pre-rabbinic Jewish law -- Let the dead bury their dead : Jesus and the law revisited -- James, Israel, and Antioch -- Natural law in Second Temple Judaism -- Natural law in the New Testament? -- The Noachide commandments and New Testament ethics -- The beginning of Christian public ethics : from Luke to Aristides and Diognetus -- Jewish and Christian public ethics in the (...) early Roman Empire. (shrink)
Beginning Philosophy offers students and general readers a uniquely straightforward yet challenging introduction to fundamental philosophical problems. Readily accessible to novices yet rich enough for more experienced readers, it combines serious investigation across a wide range of subjects in analytic philosophy with a clear, user-friendly writing style. Topics include logic and reasoning, the theory of knowledge, the nature of the external world, the mind/body problem, normative ethics, metaethics, free will, the existence of God, and the problem of evil. A (...) concluding chapter outlines the worldview developed in the text and connects that view to questions about the meaning of life. The interconnection of philosophical problems and the relationship of philosophy and science are emphasized throughout. The book includes both extensive quotes from historical figures such as Aquinas, Descartes, and Hume and references to philosophically minded nonphilosophers like Dostoevski, Stephen Jay Gould, and Carl Sagan. Beginning Philosophy is designed for use in introductory philosophy courses at a wide range of institutions. It contains numerous pedagogical materials at the end of each chapter: sections called "misconceptions" list errors that introductory readers should avoid; guide questions prompt students to explain in their own words what the text is saying; review questions help students prepare for examinations; open-ended discussion questions call for independent judgment; and annotated bibliographies provide suggestions for further reading. The volume is further enhanced by a list of famous quotations from philosophers, a glossary of philosophical terms, a glossary of names of the most famous philosophers and scientists discussed in the text, and an extensive bibliography listing every work cited. (shrink)
Induction arrangements are implemented in schools all over the world to support beginning teachers (BTs) (novices) in gradually growing into their profession. The aim of this study is to gain more insight into two key psychological processes involved in the work of a qualified beginning teacher, namely perceived stress and self-efficacy. This unfolding is necessary to find a path of influence to lead the way to meaningful support interventions. Support in the form of induction arrangements is hypothesised to (...) decrease perceived stress and to increase self-efficacy and, thus, decrease stress outcomes. To test our hypotheses 30 BTs and their school-based educators, working in 13 different schools, were surveyed. The analyses revealed that stress causes and stress outcomes are indeed interrelated and that self-efficacy affects this relationship in a mediating way. However, besides decreasing a beginning teachers? perceived lack of learning opportunities, no other influences of induction arrangements were obtained. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed. (shrink)
Doubtless interest for a modern science represents the answer to a question on the reasons of passion among intellectuals in Russia and Germany for overconfessional currents like theosophy and antroposophy. The author distinguishes the spiritual crisis like the most important prerequisite of passion for works of E. Blavatskaja and R. Shtajner. E. V. Kriageva-Kartseva compares the activity of different theosophical and antroposophical societies in two countries at the beginning of the ХХ century and draws some conclusions. For example, the (...) author regards the orthodoxy as the important factor, which has kept the expansion ofsyncretic religions to Russia. (shrink)
Based on archival documents, regulatory and other official materials, as well as the press of that time, the article attempts to shed some light on the complex beginning of Lithuanian Roman legal system research. Since the beginning of theUniversity law degree in 1922, the Roman law courses (then divided into history and dogma, the system) were taught with an exclusive focus. However, while assembling the faculty of professors at the Lithuanian university, in the beginning they had to (...) content mainly with practitioners, therefore it was particularly difficult to solve the problem of the Roman legal system researcher that required very specific knowledge. (shrink)
The paper is an effort to better understand, through a comparison, how Confucius and Socrates initate their ethical inquiries that have laid down, respectively, the foundations of Chinese and Western ethics. Since both Confucius and Socrates claim to have a divine mission to undertake their investigations, the paper focuses on the issue about how religion and rational philosophy are related when ethics begins. It shows that both have serious religious belief, yet each has secular rational grounds for doing (...) what he is doing. Finally, each philosopher has a different view about how human beings are related to the divine being, and the difference determines their different approaches to ethics. (shrink)
When does a human being begin to exist? Barry Smith and Berit Brogaard have argued that it is possible, through a combination of biological fact and philosophical analysis, to provide a definitive answer to this question. In their view, a human individual begins to exist at gastrulation, i. e. at about sixteen days after fertilization. In this paper we argue that even granting Smith and Brogaard's ontological commitments and biological assumptions, the existence of a human being can be shown to (...) begin much earlier, viz., with fertilization. Their interpretative claim that a zygote divides immediately into two substances and therefore ceases to exist is highly implausible by their own standards, and their factual claim that there is no communication between the blastomeres has to be abandoned in light of recent embryological research. (shrink)
Abstract. In January 1985, about 80 Muslim religious scholars and biomedical scientists gathered in a symposium held in Kuwait to discuss the broad question “When does human life begin?” This article argues that this symposium is one of the milestones in the field of contemporary Islamic bioethics and independent legal reasoning (Ijtihād). The proceedings of the symposium, however, escaped the attention of academic researchers. This article is meant to fill in this research lacuna by analyzing the proceedings of this symposium, (...) the relevant subsequent developments, and finally the interplay of Islam and the West as a significant dimension in these discussions. (shrink)
This paper explores the issue of when human life begins, giving special attention to the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas’s position is contrasted with the position defended by many Catholics today. After considering the evidence and a variety of arguments, the paper suggests that the individuated human being begins to exist at roughly fourteen days after the moment of conception.
Verbs like begin may take either a VP or an NP complement, but their meaning is pretty similar in both cases, e.g. for begin, the start of an eventuality is at stake. Pustejovsky's approach captures this similarity in terms of an invariant meaning of the verb, which entails a process of reinterpretation for the transitive variant of the verb. I will show that while the intuitions of this proposal are on the right track, its actual implementation suffers from a number (...) of shortcomings. I will offer an analysis that preserves Pustejovsky's intuition but avoids these shortcomings. My analysis is based on an appropriate underspecification formalism. (shrink)
Shortly before G. E. Moore wrote down the formative for the early analytic philosophy lectures on Some Main Problems of Philosophy (1910–1911), he had become acquainted with two books which influenced his thought: (1) a book by Husserl's pupil August Messer and (2) a book by the Greifswald objectivist Dimitri Michaltschew. Central to Michaltschew's book was the concept of the given. In Part I, I argue that Moore elaborated his concept of sense-data in the wake of the Greifswald concept. Carnap (...) did the same when he wrote his Aufbau, the only difference being that he spoke not of sense-data but of Erlebnisse. This means, I argue, that both Moore's sense-data and Carnap'sErlebnisse have little to do with either British empiricists or the neo-Kantians. In Part II, I try to ascertain what made early analytic philosophy different from all those philosophical groups and movements that either exercised influence on it, or were closely related to it: phenomenologists, Greifswald objectivists, Brentanists. For this purpose, I identify the sine qua non practices of the early analytic philosophers: exactness; acceptance of the propositional turn; descriptivism; objectivism. If one of these practices was not explored by a given philosophical school or group, in all probability, it was not truly analytic. (shrink)
In this note a recently developed quantum oscillating finite space cosmological model is described. The principle novelty of the model is that there is a quantum blurring of the classical singularity between cycles, instead of a singularity free bounce. Recently, Quentin Smith (1988) has argued that present theoretical and observational evidence justifies the belief that the past history of the universe is finite. The relevance of this cosmological model to Smith's arguments is discussed.
The paper is inspired by the arguments raised recently by Grunbaum criticizing the current approaches of many cosmologists to the problem of spacetime singularity, matter creation and the origin of the universe. While agreeing with him that the currently favored cosmological ideas do not indicate the biblical notion of divine creation ex nihilo, I present my viewpoint on the same issues, which differs considerably from Grunbaum's. First I show that the symmetry principle which leads to the conservation law of energy (...) is violated when the time axis is terminated at t = 0. Next I discuss why this epoch (t = 0) is more a mathematical artifact whose supposed significance may disappear when one goes beyond the classical relativistic cosmology. This is illustrated by the example of quantum cosmology. (shrink)
Rawls' requirement that citizens of liberal democracies support only policies which they believe can be justified in 'public reason' depends on a certain ideal for the relationships between citizens. This is a valuable ideal, and thus citizens have reasons to try to achieve it. But it is not always possible to find the common ground that we would need in order to do so, and thus we should reject Rawls' strong claim that we have an obligation to defend our views (...) in public reason. Because I recognize that we have strong reasons to conduct our political enquiry within the guidelines of political liberalism, but deny that we always have an obligation to do so, one might call my view 'permissive political liberalism'. (shrink)