Powerful Deceivers and Public Reason Liberalism: An Argument for Externalization

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):1-18 (2021)
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Abstract

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.

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Sean Donahue
Australian National University

Citations of this work

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

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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.

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