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  1. 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 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 the Right to Justification and Discursive Respect.Thomas M. Besch - 2015 - Dialogue 54 (4):703-726.
    Rainer Forst’s constructivism argues that a right to justification provides a reasonably non-rejectable foundation of justice. With an exemplary focus on his attempt to ground human rights, I argue that this right cannot provide such a foundation. To accord to others such a right is to include them in the scope of discursive respect. But it is reasonably contested whether we should accord to others equal discursive respect. It follows that Forst’s constructivism cannot ground human rights, or justice, categorically. At (...)
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  • On Justification, Idealization, and Discursive Purchase.Thomas Besch - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):601-623.
    Conceptions of acceptability-based moral or political justification take it that authoritative acceptability, widely conceived, 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 (...)
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  • Public Justification, Inclusion, and Discursive Equality.Thomas M. Besch - 2018 - Dialogue 57 (3):591-614.
    The paper challenges the view that public justification sits well with emancipatory and egalitarian intuitions. I distinguish between the depth, scope and the purchase of the discursive standing that such justification allocates, and situate within this matrix Rawls’s view of public justification. A standard objection to this view is that public justification should be more inclusive in scope. This is both plausible and problematic in emancipatory and egalitarian terms. If inclusive public justification allocates discursive standing that is rich in purchase, (...)
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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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  • Helen Frowe’s “Practical Account of Self-Defence”: A Critique.Uwe Steinhoff - 2013 - Public Reason 5 (1):87-96.
    Helen Frowe has recently offered what she calls a “practical” account of self-defense. Her account is supposed to be practical by being subjectivist about permissibility and objectivist about liability. I shall argue here that Frowe first makes up a problem that does not exist and then fails to solve it. To wit, her claim that objectivist accounts of permissibility cannot be action-guiding is wrong; and her own account of permissibility actually retains an objectivist (in the relevant sense) element. In addition, (...)
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  • A Note on Reciprocity of Reasons.Thomas M. Besch - manuscript
    Rainer Forst and others claim that normative moral and political claims depend for their justification on meeting a requirement of reciprocal and general acceptability (RGA). I focus on a core component of RGA, namely, the idea of reciprocity of reasons, distinguish between two readings of RGA, and argue that if reciprocity of reasons is understood in Forst’s terms, then RGA, even on the most promising reading, may not serve as a requirement of moral or political justification at all. The discussion (...)
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