Powerful Deceivers and Public Reason Liberalism: An Argument for Externalization

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):1-18 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Public reason liberals claim that legitimate rules must be justifiable to diverse perspectives. This Public Justification Principle threatens that failing to justify rules to reprehensible agents makes them illegitimate. Although public reason liberals have replies to this objection, they cannot avoid the challenge of powerful deceivers. Powerful deceivers trick people who are purportedly owed public justification into considering otherwise good rules unjustified. Avoiding this challenge requires discounting some failures of justification according to what caused people’s beliefs. I offer a conception of public justification that accommodates these externalist considerations while positioning Public Reason Liberalism to provide insight into real cases of deception.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,389

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Rescuing Public Justification From Public Reason Liberalism.Fabian Wendt - 2019 - In Steven Wall, Peter Vallentyne & David Sobel (eds.), Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy Vol. 5. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 39-64.
Public Justification Versus Public Deliberation: The Case for Divorce.Kevin Vallier - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (2):139-158.
In Defence of Intelligible Reasons in Public Justification.Kevin Vallier - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (264):596-616.
The Ethics of Reasoning From Conjecture.Micah Schwartzman - 2012 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (4):521-544.
The Classical Tilt of Justificatory Liberalism.Andrew Lister - 2013 - European Journal of Political Theory 12 (3):316-326.
Public Reason Liberalism and the Certification of Scientific Claims.Jason Tyndal - 2019 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11 (8):8-14.
Public Reason Is Not Self-Defeating.Kevin Vallier - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4):349-364.
Introduction: Convergence Justifications in Public Reason.Kevin Vallier - 2011 - Public Affairs Quarterly 25 (4):257-260.
Against Public Reason Liberalism's Accessibility Requirement.Kevin Vallier - 2011 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (3):366-389.


Added to PP

13 (#759,955)

6 months
9 (#87,159)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Sean Donahue
Australian National University

Citations of this work

Public Reason.Jonathan Quong - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Liberalism Without Perfection.Jonathan Quong - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Moral Conflict and Political Legitimacy.Thomas Nagel - 1987 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 16 (3):215-240.

View all 18 references / Add more references