Politics and Ethics Review 3 (2):163-80 (2007)

Shaun Young
University of Toronto, St. George
Despite the relative ease and regularity with which it is used by policymakers and the functional role that it often plays in the policy development process, the concept of reasonableness has essentially been overlooked by public policy scholars in their analysis of the factors influencing the development of public policy. However, the maintenance of the analytical status quo is likely to prove increasingly difficult. As the issues that governments must address become increasingly complicated and controversial and it becomes correspondingly more difficult to identify easily or clearly the most appropriate response to associated problems, policymakers will inevitably be forced to place greater reliance on the concept of reasonableness as the final court of appeal when seeking to determine the attractiveness and acceptability of policy decisions. Accordingly, it seems ‘reasonable’ to suggest that greater, explicit consideration be given to the concept of reasonableness and the role it does and should play in the development of public policy. This article simultaneously offers both a brief overview of the current situation with respect to the meaningful consideration of the concept of reasonableness by public policy scholars and practitioners and a preliminary argument for a reconsideration of the analytical status quo
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3366/per.2007.3.2.163
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,217
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

Justice as Fairness: Political Not Metaphysical.John Rawls - 1985 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 14 (3):223-251.
IX.—Essentially Contested Concepts.W. B. Gallie - 1956 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 56 (1):167-198.
Procedural Versus Substantive Justice: Rawls and Nozick.David Lewis Schaefer - 2007 - Social Philosophy and Policy 24 (1):164-186.
Policy Science: Analysis or Ideology?Laurence H. Tribe - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (1):66-110.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What is Reasonableness?James Boettcher - 2004 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 30 (5-6):597-621.
Reason, Rationality, and Reasonableness.Doan Travann - 2001 - Council for Research in Values and Philosophy.
Moral Philosophy for Children and Character Education.Michael S. Pritchard - 2000 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 14 (1):13-26.
Exercising Political Power Reasonably.Shaun P. Young - 2008 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 11 (2):255-72.
The (Un)Reasonableness of Rawlsian Rationality.Shaun Young - 2005 - South African Journal of Philosophy 24 (4):308-20.
Democratic Reasonableness.Thomas A. Spragens - 2008 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 11 (2):193-214.
The Rationality of Reasonableness.Alan Gewirth - 1983 - Synthese 57 (2):225 - 247.


Added to PP index

Total views
16 ( #582,436 of 2,324,957 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #458,081 of 2,324,957 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes