Introduction: Convergence Justifications in Public Reason

Public Affairs Quarterly 25 (4):257-260 (2011)
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With the publication of Political Liberalism, John Rawls inaugurated a new tradition in political philosophy often called public reason liberalism. Rawls argued that among liberal democratic cultures, our conception of ourselves as free and equal requires that we justify our attempts to coerce one another via the use of state power. Thus, a legitimate state is one whose coercion is publicly justified to all members of a well-ordered society. A publicly justified political order therefore satisfies what Rawls called the ideal of public reason. The ideal of public reason has probably garnered more attention than any other aspect of Rawls's later work



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Kevin Vallier
Bowling Green State University

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