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  1. Science as Public Reason and the Controversiality Objection.Klemens Kappel - 2021 - Res Publica 27 (4):619-639.
    We all agree that democratic decision-making requires a factual input, and most of us assume that when the pertinent facts are not in plain view they should be furnished by well-functioning scientific institutions. But how should liberal democracy respond when apparently sincere, rational and well-informed citizens object to coercive legislation because it is based on what they consider a misguided trust in certain parts of science? Cases are familiar, the most prominent concerning climate science and evolution, but one may also (...)
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  • Religious Exemptions, Claims of Conscience, and Idola Fori.Andrei Bespalov - 2020 - Jurisprudence 11 (2):225-242.
    According to the standard liberal egalitarian approach, religious exemptions from generally applicable laws can be justified on the grounds of equal respect for each citizen’s conscience. I contend that claims of conscience cannot justify demands for exemptions, since they do not meet even the most inclusive standards of public justification. Arguments of the form ‘My conscience says so’ do not explicate the rationale behind the practices that the claimants seek to protect. Therefore, such arguments do not constitute even pro tanto (...)
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  • Public Justification Versus Public Deliberation: The Case for Divorce.Kevin Vallier - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (2):139-158.
    I drive a wedge between public deliberation and public justification, concepts tightly associated in public reason liberalism. Properly understood, the ideal of public justification imposes no restraint on citizen deliberation but requires that those who have a substantial impact on the use of coercive power, political officials, advance proposals each person has sufficient reason to accept. I formulate this idea as the Principle of Convergent Restraint and apply it to legislators to illustrate the general reorientation I propose for the public (...)
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  • Art as Political Discourse.Vid Simoniti - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (4):559-574.
    Much art is committed to political causes. However, does art contribute something unique to political discourse, or does it merely reflect the insights of political science and political philosophy? Here I argue for indispensability of art to political discourse by building on the debate about artistic cognitivism, the view that art is a source of knowledge. Different artforms, I suggest, make available specific epistemic resources, which allow audiences to overcome epistemic obstacles that obtain in a given ideological situation. My goal (...)
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  • Church Under Leviathan: On the Democratic Participation of Religious Organizations in an Authoritarian Society.Baldwin Wong - 2021 - Journal of Religious Ethics 49 (1):68-89.
  • Is It Sectarian for a Rawlsian State to Coerce Nozick? – On Political Liberalism and the Sectarian Critique.Baldwin Wong - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-21.
    The paper begins with a hypothetical story and asks: how should a Rawlsian political liberal state justify its coercion over Nozick, an unreasonable but intelligible citizen? I use this thought experiment to illustrate a recent critique of political liberalism. It argues that political liberalism coerces UIC on a sectarian ground. Call it the sectarian critique. My paper addresses the sectarian critique from a political liberal perspective. I suggest a condition of state conjecture, which argues that the state officials should use (...)
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  • Equal Respect, Liberty, and Civic Friendship: Why Liberal Public Justification Needs a Dual Understanding of Reciprocity.Sylvie Bláhová & Pavel Dufek - 2021 - Czech Journal of Political Science 1 (28):3–19.
    The paper critically discusses the dualism in the interpretation of the moral basis of public reason. We argue that in order to maintain the complementarity of both liberal and democratic values within the debate on public reason, the arguments from liberty and from civic friendship cannot be considered in isolation. With regard to the argument from liberty, we contend that because the idea of natural liberty is an indispensable starting point of liberal theory, no explanation of the justification of political (...)
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  • Calculating Qalys: Liberalism and the Value of Health States.Douglas MacKay - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (2):259-285.
    The value of health states is often understood to depend on their impact on the goodness of people's lives. As such, prominent health states metrics are grounded in particular conceptions of wellbeing – e.g. hedonism or preference satisfaction. In this paper, I consider how liberals committed to the public justification requirement – the requirement that public officials choose laws and policies that are justifiable to their citizens – should evaluate health states. Since the public justification requirement prohibits public officials from (...)
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  • Religious Accommodation in Bioethics and the Practice of Medicine.William R. Smith & Robert Audi - 2021 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (2):188-218.
    Debates about the ethics of health care and medical research in contemporary pluralistic democracies often arise partly from competing religious and secular values. Such disagreements raise challenges of balancing claims of religious liberty with claims to equal treatment in health care. This paper proposes several mid-level principles to help in framing sound policies for resolving such disputes. We develop and illustrate these principles, exploring their application to conscientious objection by religious providers and religious institutions, accommodation of religious priorities in biomedical (...)
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  • Convergence and Consensus in Public Reason.Kevin Vallier - 2011 - Public Affairs Quarterly 25 (4):261-280.
    Reasonable individuals often share a rationale for a decision but, in other cases, they make the same decision based on disparate and often incompatible rationales. The social contract tradition has been divided between these two methods of solving the problem of social cooperation: must social cooperation occur in terms of common reasoning, or can individuals with different doctrines simply converge on shared institutions for their own reasons? For Hobbes, it is rational for all persons, regardless of their theological beliefs, to (...)
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  • Accessibility, Pluralism, and Honesty: A Defense of the Accessibility Requirement in Public Justification.Baldwin Wong - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-25.
    Political liberals assume an accessibility requirement, which means that, for ensuring civic respect and non-manipulation, public officials should offer accessible reasons during political advocacy. Recently, critics have offered two arguments to show that the accessibility requirement is unnecessary. The first is the pluralism argument: Given the pluralism in evaluative standards, when officials offer non-accessible reasons, they are not disrespectful because they may merely try to reveal their strongest reason. The second is the honesty argument: As long as officials honestly confess (...)
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  • Pluralistic Partisanship.Kevin Vallier - 2019 - Res Publica 25 (4):487-496.
    This essay explores and criticizes Matteo Bonotti’s argument that parties and partisans in a publicly justified polity should appeal primarily, if not exclusively, to accessible justificatory reasons to fulfill their political duties. I argue that political parties should only support coercive policies if they rationally believe that the coercive law or policy in question can be publicly justified to those subject to the law or policy in terms of their own private—specifically intelligible—reasons. I then explore four practical differences between our (...)
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  • Democracy as Intellectual Taste? Pluralism in Democratic Theory.Pavel Dufek - 2018 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 30 (3-4):219-255.
    The normative and metanormative pluralism that figures among core self-descriptions of democratic theory, which seems incompatible with democratic theorists’ practical ambitions, may stem from the internal logic of research traditions in the social sciences and humanities and in the conceptual structure of political theory itself. One way to deal productively with intradisciplinary diversity is to appeal to the idea of a meta-consensus; another is to appeal to the argument from cognitive diversity that fuels recent debates on epistemic democracy. For different (...)
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  • Public Value, Maximization and Health Policy: An Examination of Hausman’s Restricted Consequentialism.James Wilson - 2017 - Public Health Ethics 10 (2).
    In the book Valuing Health, Daniel Hausman sets out a normative framework for assessing social policy, which he calls restricted consequentialism. For the restricted consequentialist, government policy-making not only is, but ought to be, largely siloed in individual government departments. Each department has its own goal linked to a fundamental public value, which it should pursue in a maximizing way. I argue that, first, Hausman’s argument appears to be internally inconsistent: his case for thinking that health policy should default to (...)
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  • In Defence of Intelligible Reasons in Public Justification.Kevin Vallier - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (264):596-616.
    Mainstream political liberalism holds that legal coercion is permissible only if it is based on reasons that all can share, access or accept. But these requirements are subject to well-known problems. I articulate and defend an intelligible reasons requirement as an alternative. An intelligible reason is a reason that all suitably idealized members of the public can see as a reason for the person who offers it according to that person’s own evaluative standards. It thereby permits reasons into public justification (...)
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  • Religious Faith and the Fallibility of Public Reasons.Andrei Bespalov - 2019 - Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 8 (2):223-46.
    Rawlsian liberals define legitimacy in terms of the public justification principle (PJP): the exercise of political power is legitimate only if it is justified on the grounds of reasons that all may reasonably be expected to accept. Does PJP exclude religious reasons from public justification of legal provisions? I argue that the requirement of ‘reasonable acceptability’ is not clear enough to answer this question. Furthermore, it fails to address the problematic fact that justification on the grounds of religious faith involves (...)
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