Social Philosophy and Policy 34 (1):232-259 (2017)

Kevin Vallier
Bowling Green State University
Public reason liberalism includes an ideal of political stability where justified institutions reach a kind of self-enforcing equilibrium. Such an order must be stable for the right reasons — where persons comply with the rules of the order for moral reasons, rather than out of fear or self-interest. John Rawls called a society stable in this way well-ordered. In this essay, I contend that a more sophisticated model of a well-ordered society, specifically an agent-based model, yields a richer and more attractive understanding of political stability. An agent-based model helps us to distinguish between three concepts of political stability — durability, balance, and immunity. A well-ordered society is one that possesses a high degree of social trust and cooperative behavior among its citizens (durability) with low short-run variability (balance). A well-ordered society also resists destabilization caused by noncompliant agents in or entering the system (immunity). Distinguishing between these three concepts complicates the necessary reformulation of the idea of a well-ordered society. Going forward, public reason theorists must now distinguish between types of assurance, specify heretofore unknown aspects of reasonable behavior, and reconceive of the nonideal preconditions for forming a stable, ideal social order.
Keywords public reason  public justification  political stability  stability for the right reasons  agent-based modeling  complex adaptive systems
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DOI 10.1017/s0265052517000115
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References found in this work BETA

Ideal and Nonideal Theory.A. John Simmons - 2010 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (1):5-36.

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Citations of this work BETA

In Public Reason, Diversity Trumps Coherence.Kevin Vallier & Ryan Muldoon - 2021 - Journal of Political Philosophy 29 (2):211-230.

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