In Ester Herlin-Karnell & Matthias Klatt (eds.), Constitutionalism Justified. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming)

Sameer Bajaj
University of Warwick
Enzo Rossi
University of Amsterdam
In this essay we criticise Rainer Forst's attempt to draw a connection between power and justification, and thus ground his normative theory of a right to justification. Forst draws this connection primarily conceptually, though we will also consider whether a normative connection may be drawn within his framework. Forst's key insight is that if we understand power as operating by furnishing those subjected to it with reasons, then we create a space for the normative contestation of any exercise of power. He calls this the noumenal understanding of power. Against the conceptual connection between power and justification, we argue that (i) on most plausible accounts of political freedom, some freedom-restrictions commonly attributed to the successful exercise of power would perplexingly count as failures of power on Forst's view, and that (ii) on the most plausible account of reason-recognition, namely an appropriateness of response account, a justification relation is only a sufficient but not necessary condition for recognition. Against the normative connection, we argue that (iii) Forst can establish the existence of a right to justification only if he reconsiders the transcendental aspirations of his theory.
Keywords Rainer Forst  Right to justification  Power  Reasons
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
The Domain of Reasons.John Skorupski - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action.David M. Rasmussen - 1993 - Philosophical Quarterly 43 (173):571.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Limits of Justification: Critique, Disclosure and Reflexivity.Lois McNay - 2016 - European Journal of Political Theory 19 (1):147488511667029.
Picturing Justice.Kyle Johannsen - 2017 - Contemporary Political Theory 16 (3):387-93.
Noumenal Power.Rainer Forst - 2015 - Journal of Political Philosophy 23 (2):111-127.
The Power of Tolerance: A Debate.Luca Di Blasi & Christoph F. E. Holzhey (eds.) - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
The Power of Tolerance: A Debate.Wendy Brown & Rainer Forst - 2014 - Columbia University Press.


Added to PP index

Total views
388 ( #25,913 of 2,507,401 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
28 ( #32,101 of 2,507,401 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes