On the Idea of Public Reason

In Jon Mandle & David A. Reidy (eds.), A Companion to Rawls. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 265–280 (2013)
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The idea of public reason is at the center of John Rawls's political philosophy. Public reason is a standard by which we measure laws and political institutions. This chapter discusses the practice of public reason, the moral basis of public reason, and the challenge posed by religious critics of public reason. It provides three possible answers to the question: What is the moral basis for endorsing this particular conception of democratic politics – public reason? It is Rawlsian concept of justice – the ideal of a fair system of social cooperation between free and equal citizens – which provides the moral basis for public reason. Given this basis, citizens then engage in the practice of public reason with one another.



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Jonathan Quong
University of Southern California

Citations of this work

A Framework for Analyzing Public Reason Theories.Paul Billingham & Anthony Taylor - 2022 - European Journal of Political Theory 21 (4).
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