Political Liberalism and Political Community

Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (2):142-167 (2017)
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We provide a justification for political liberalism’s Reciprocity Principle, which states that political decisions must be justified exclusively on the basis of considerations that all reasonable citizens can reasonably be expected to accept. The standard argument for the Reciprocity Principle grounds it in a requirement of respect for persons. We argue for a different, but compatible, justification: the Reciprocity Principle is justified because it makes possible a desirable kind of political community. The general endorsement of the Reciprocity Principle, we will argue, helps realize joint political rule and relationships of civic friendship. The main obstacle to the realization of these values is the presence of reasonable disagreement about religious, moral, and philosophical issues characteristic of liberal societies. We show the Reciprocity Principle helps to overcome this obstacle.



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Author Profiles

R. J. Leland
University of Manitoba
Han van Wietmarschen
University College London

Citations of this work

Shared intentions, public reason, and political autonomy.Blain Neufeld - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):776-804.
Public Reason.Jonathan Quong - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Justification, coercion, and the place of public reason.Chad Van Schoelandt - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):1031-1050.
Political Liberalism and Respect.Han van Wietmarschen - 2020 - Journal of Political Philosophy 29 (3):353-374.
Public justification.Kevin Vallier - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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