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  1. Patterns of Justification: On Political Liberalism and the Primacy of Public Justification.Thomas M. Besch - forthcoming - Journal of Social and Political Philosophy.
    The discussion develops the view that public justification in Rawls’s political liberalism, in one of its roles, is actualist in fully enfranchising actual reasonable citizens and fundamental in political liberalism’s order of justification. I anchor this reading in the political role Rawls accords to general reflective equilibrium, and examine in its light the relationship between public justification, pro tanto justification, political values, full justification, the wide view of public political culture and salient public reason intuitions. This leaves us with the (...)
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  • Toleration, Reasonableness, and Power.Thomas M. Besch & Jung-Sook Lee - forthcoming - In Mitja Sardoc (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Toleration. Palgrave.
    This chapter explores Rainer Forst’s justification-centric view of nondomination toleration. This view places an idea of equal respect and a corresponding requirement of reciprocal and general justification at the core of non-domination toleration. After reconstructing this view, this chapter addresses two issues. First, even if this idea of equal respect requires the limits of non-domination toleration to be drawn in a manner that is equally justifiable to all affected people, equal justifiability should not be understood in terms of Forst’s requirement (...)
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  • On Actualist and Fundamental Public Justification in Political Liberalism.Thomas M. Besch - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (5):1777-1799.
    Public justification in political liberalism is often conceptualized in light of Rawls’s view of its role in a hypothetical well-ordered society as an ideal or idealizing form of justification that applies a putatively reasonable conception of political justice to political matters. But Rawls implicates a different idea of public justification in his doctrine of general reflective equilibrium. The paper engages this second, more fundamental idea. Public justification in this second sense is actualist and fundamental. It is actualist in that it (...)
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  • Forst on Reciprocity of Reasons: A Critique.Thomas M. Besch - 2020 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 58 (3):357-382.
    According to Rainer Forst, (i) moral and political claims must meet a requirement of reciprocal and general acceptability (RGA) while (ii) we are under a duty in engaged discursive practice to justify such claims to others, or be able to do so, on grounds that meet RGA. The paper critically engages this view. I argue that Forst builds a key component of RGA, i.e., reciprocity of reasons, on an idea of the reasonable that undermines both (i) and (ii): if RGA (...)
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  • On Robust Discursive Equality.Thomas M. Besch - 2019 - Dialogue 58 (3):1-26.
    This paper explores the idea of robust discursive equality on which respect-based conceptions of justificatory reciprocity often draw. I distinguish between formal and substantive discursive equality and argue that if justificatory reciprocity requires that people be accorded formally equal discursive standing, robust discursive equality should not be construed as requiring standing that is equal substantively, or in terms of its discursive purchase. Still, robust discursive equality is purchase sensitive: it does not obtain when discursive standing is impermissibly unequal in purchase. (...)
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