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Equal Citizenship and Public ReasonA Feminist Political Liberalism$
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Christie Hartley and Lori Watson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190683023

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190683023.001.0001

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The Moral Foundation of Public Justification and Public Reason

The Moral Foundation of Public Justification and Public Reason

(p.40) 2 The Moral Foundation of Public Justification and Public Reason
Equal Citizenship and Public Reason

Christie Hartley

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the moral foundation of public justification for political liberals. Two conceptions of liberal democracies are contrasted together with their distinctive accounts of public justification. It is argued that political liberals view liberal democracies as a shared project among persons with the end of living on terms of mutual respect with others and that this leads to a shared reasons view of public justification. This view is shown to be superior to the convergence account of public justification on the grounds that (1) convergence accounts of public reason fail to capture what is distinctive about democratic decision-making, namely, that it represents a kind of collective willing, and (2) convergence accounts lack normative stability. Political liberalism offers both.

Keywords:   political liberalism, public justification, public reason, convergence, consensus, stability, equal citizenship, coercion, democracy, shared reasons

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