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On Robust Discursive Equality

Dialogue 58 (3):1-26 (2019)

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  1. Patterns of Justification: On Political Liberalism and the Primacy of Public Justification.Thomas M. Besch - 2022 - Journal of Social and Political Philosophy 1 (1):47-63.
    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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  • 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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  • On Justification, Idealization, and Discursive Purchase.Thomas M. Besch - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):601-623.
    Conceptions of acceptability-based moral or political justification take it that authoritative acceptability constitutes, or contributes to, validity, or justification. There is no agreement as to what bar for authoritativeness such justification may employ. The paper engages the issue in relation to (i) the level of idealization that a bar for authoritativeness, ψ, imparts to a standard of acceptability-based justification, S, and (ii) the degree of discursive purchase of the discursive standing that S accords to people when it builds ψ. I (...)
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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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  • Public Justification, Political Values, and Domination.Thomas M. Besch - forthcoming - In Thomas M. Besch, Raphael van Riehl, Harold Kincaid & Tarun Menon (eds.), Philosophy of Cultural Domination. Routledge.
    In Rawls’s political liberalism, legitimate exercises of political power must be publicly justifiable to reasonable citizens on grounds each can coherently accept, where citizens count as “reasonable” only if they can accept certain values of public culture. Other citizens have no say in public justification, or no equal say. For Rawls, then, legitimate political power must accord with a subset of cultural values, and can be legitimate even if it is not (equally) justifiable to people who cannot accept them. Does (...)
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  • Discursive Equality and Public Reason.Thomas M. Besch - forthcoming - In J. D. Rooney & P. Zoll (eds.), Beyond Classical Liberalism: Freedom and the Good. Routledge.
    In public reason liberalism, equal respect requires that conceptions of justice be publicly justifiable to relevant people in a manner that allocates to each an equal say. But all liberal public justification also excludes: e.g., it accords no say, or a lesser say, to people it deems unreasonable. Can liberal public justification be aligned with the equal respect that allegedly grounds it, if the latter calls for discursive equality? The chapter explores this challenge with a focus on Rawls-type political liberalism. (...)
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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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