Why the Facts Matter to Public Justification

Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 27 (2):198-212 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

ABSTRACTIt is often held that disagreement over non-normative facts is less significant to the project of public justification than disagreement over relevant moral norms. But this dismissal of non-normative factual disagreement is unjustified—an ad hoc attempt to save the ideal of public justification from the endemic actual disagreement that threatens it. Disagreement over norms is relevant to political legitimacy; so, too, is disagreement over facts. I draw two implications from this point. First, inasmuch as accounts of public justification typically involve a unanimity condition, public justification should not be thought a desideratum of political legitimacy. Second, virtuous political praxis will often involve enforcing legislation in spite of unresolved non-normative factual disagreement. That is, with respect to legitimacy, there is nothing morally amiss about such legislation. Clearly these last claims presuppose some basis for legitimacy other than agreement; I will only gesture at what this might be. Assuming that much actual legislation is indeed legitimate, though—in spite of extant normative and non-normative disagreement—I go so far as concluding that such a basis, whatever it is, must exist.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,745

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

Epistemic Foundations of Political Liberalism.Fabienne Peter - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (5):598-620.
Decisioni pubbliche e disaccordo.Federica Liveriero - 2017 - Roma RM, Italia: LUISS University Press.
The Significance of Moral Disagreement.Simon James Peter May - 2004 - Dissertation, Stanford University
Moral Deadlock.Ronald D. Milo - 1986 - Philosophy 61 (238):453-471.
Moral Deadlock.Ronald D. Milo - 1986 - Philosophy 61 (238):453 - 471.
Justification, Disagreement and the Liberal State.Graham Long - 2003 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 6 (3):32-49.
Legitimacy, Unanimity, and Perfectionism.Joseph Chan - 2000 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 29 (1):5-42.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-09-04

Downloads
27 (#142,020)

6 months
7 (#1,397,300)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Democracy and Truth: A Contingent Defense of Epistemic Democracy.Gustavo Hessmann Dalaqua - 2017 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 29 (1):49-71.
An Epistemic Justification for the Obligation to Vote.Julia Maskivker - 2016 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 28 (2):224-247.

Add more citations

References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
A Theory of Justice.John Rawls - 1971 - Oxford,: Harvard University Press. Edited by Steven M. Cahn.
Mortal questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

View all 29 references / Add more references