Kantian Review 21 (2):161-183 (2016)

Authors
James Gordon Finlayson
University of Sussex
Abstract
Many commentators have failed to identify the important issues at the heart of the debate between Habermas and Rawls. This is partly because they give undue attention to differences between Rawls’s original position and Habermas’s principle, neither of which is germane to the actual dispute. The dispute is at bottom about how best to conceive of democratic legitimacy. Rawls indicates where the dividing issues lie when he objects that Habermas’s account of democratic legitimacy is comprehensive and his is confined to the political. But his argument is vitiated by a threefold ambiguity in what he means by ‘comprehensive doctrine’. Tidying up this ambiguity helps reveal that the dispute turns on the way in which morality relates to political legitimacy. Although Habermas calls his conception of legitimate law ‘morally freestanding’, and as such distinguishes it from Kantian and natural law accounts of legitimacy, it is not as freestanding from morality as he likes to present it. Habermas’s mature theory contains conflicting claims about the relation between morality and democratic legitimacy. So there is at least one important sense in which Rawls’s charge of comprehensiveness is made to stick against Habermas’s conception of democratic legitimacy, and remains unanswered. View HTML Send article to KindleTo send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply. Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.Where the Right Gets in: On Rawls’s Criticism of Habermas’s Conception of LegitimacyVolume 21, Issue 2James Gordon Finlayson DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1369415416000017Your Kindle email address Please provide your Kindle email.@free.kindle.com@kindle.com Available formats PDF Please select a format to send. By using this service, you agree that you will only keep articles for personal use, and will not openly distribute them via Dropbox, Google Drive or other file sharing services. Please confirm that you accept the terms of use. Cancel Send ×Send article to Dropbox To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox. Where the Right Gets in: On Rawls’s Criticism of Habermas’s Conception of LegitimacyVolume 21, Issue 2James Gordon Finlayson DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1369415416000017Available formats PDF Please select a format to send. By using this service, you agree that you will only keep articles for personal use, and will not openly distribute them via Dropbox, Google Drive or other file sharing services. Please confirm that you accept the terms of use. Cancel Send ×Send article to Google Drive To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive. Where the Right Gets in: On Rawls’s Criticism of Habermas’s Conception of LegitimacyVolume 21, Issue 2James Gordon Finlayson DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1369415416000017Available formats PDF Please select a format to send. By using this service, you agree that you will only keep articles for personal use, and will not openly distribute them via Dropbox, Google Drive or other file sharing services. Please confirm that you accept the terms of use. Cancel Send ×Export citation.
Keywords Rawls   comprehensive doctrine   democratic legitimacy   morality  Habermas
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/s1369415416000017
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,066
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action.David M. Rasmussen - 1993 - Philosophical Quarterly 43 (173):571.
Political Liberalism by John Rawls. [REVIEW]Philip Pettit - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):215-220.
Democracy and Disagreement.Amy Gutmann & Dennis Thompson - 1996 - Ethics 108 (3):607-610.
Justice as Fairness: Political Not Metaphysical.John Rawls - 1985 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 14 (3):223-251.

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Justification and Application: The Revival of the Rawls-Habermas Debate.Jørgen Pedersen - 2012 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (3):399-432.
The Habermas–Rawls DisputeRedivivus.James Gordon Finlayson - 2007 - Politics and Ethics Review 3 (1):144-162.
Rawls's Liberal Principle of Legitimacy.Edward Song - 2012 - Philosophical Forum 43 (2):153-173.
Democratic Legitimacy and Proceduralist Social Epistemology.Fabienne Peter - 2007 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (3):329-353.
Judgment and Imagination in Habermas' Theory of Law.Thomas Fossen - 2015 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 41 (10):1069-1091.
Legitimacy and Consensus in Rawls' Political Liberalism.Enzo Rossi - 2014 - Iride: Filosofia e Discussione Pubblica 27:37-56.
Habermas's Decentered View of Society and the Problem of Democratic Legitimacy.Dominique Leydet - 1997 - Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy/Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale 1 (1):35-48.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-06-02

Total views
26 ( #381,800 of 2,344,615 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #513,543 of 2,344,615 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes