Paolo Monti
University of Milan Bicocca
In Democratic Authority and the Separation of Church and State, Robert Audi addresses disagreements among equally rational persons on political matters of coercion by analysing the features of discussions between epistemic peers, and supporting a normative principle of toleration. It is possible to question the extent to which Audi’s views are consistent with the possibility of religious citizens being properly defined as epistemic peers with their non-religious counterparts, insofar as he also argues for some significant constraints on religious reasons in public debates, and he advocates secular reasons being considered as equivalent to natural reasons. I shall also consider Jürgen Habermas’s criticism of Audi’s stance. One of Habermas’ main points focused on Audi’s strong division between religious and non-religious arguments that requires religious citizens to artificially split their reasons, while non-religiously affiliated citizens are not met with any similar requirement. Also, analysing the concept of epistemic parity, we can as well grasp some of the main features of the Habermasian idea of postsecularism. The difference between secular and postsecular views can be framed as hinging on what it means to be epistemic peers, thus bearing consequences on the understanding of the relationship between church and state—particularly regarding the nature of state neutrality and the different status of churches and organised secular groups.
Keywords Epistemic Parity  Robert Audi  Jürgen Habermas  Citizenship  Ethics of citizenship  Religion and politics
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Religion in the Public Sphere.Jurgen Habermas - 2006 - European Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):1–25.
Religion in the Public Sphere.Jürgen Habermas - 2005 - African Philosophy 8 (2):99-109.
Religion in the Public Sphere.Jurgen Habermas - 2006 - European Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):1-25.

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