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Public Reason

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2013)

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  1. Public Reason and Public Health: Can Anti-Smoking Policies Be Justified According to a Public Reason Account of Justification?Morten Ebbe Juul Nielsen - 2022 - Public Health Ethics 15 (1):104-116.
    Public reason demands that policies are justified to all reasonable citizens. Public health aims at protecting or improving aggregated health outcomes. Since health is not an uncontroversial value, an insurmountable chasm between public reason and public health seems to preclude any viable synthesis between the two outlooks. For any given public health policy, some reasonable citizen seems to have a reason to support ‘no policy’ over ‘some policy’, meaning that the policy cannot be justified to all. The paper first spells (...)
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  • Come as You Are? Public Reason and Climate Change.Morten Ebbe Juul Nielsen & Asbjørn Hauge-Helgestad - 2022 - Res Publica 28 (1):17-32.
    The likely adverse effects of climate change call for political action. In this paper, we argue that the public reason framework—with its insistence on justifiability to all reasonable citizens, in spite of their profound disagreements—despite initial misgivings recommends itself as a framework for debate and decisions pertaining to climate change. We address two possible stumbling blocks: the exclusion of non-anthropocentric points of view, and the controversy over intergenerational justice. We argue that public reason can deal with these problems. Moreover, we (...)
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  • Privacy and Autonomy: On Some Misconceptions Concerning the Political Dimensions of Privacy.Dorota Mokrosinska - 2018 - Law and Philosophy 37 (2):117-143.
    One of the most influential views in privacy scholarship is that privacy protects individual autonomy. On the early liberal view, the exercise of autonomy requires detachment from social and political life and privacy facilitates it. This view of privacy still informs current legal and political practice. As this view of privacy presupposes a tension between privacy and society, it is responsible for the underrating of privacy in legal and political practice. Over the last decades, liberal reflection on autonomy has shifted (...)
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  • Why Be an Intellectually Humble Philosopher?Moti Mizrahi - 2016 - Axiomathes 26 (2):205-218.
    In this paper, I sketch an answer to the question “Why be an intellectually humble philosopher?” I argue that, as far as philosophical argumentation is concerned, the historical record of Western Philosophy provides a straightforward answer to this question. That is, the historical record of philosophical argumentation, which is a track record that is marked by an abundance of alternative theories and serious problems for those theories, can teach us important lessons about the limits of philosophical argumentation. These lessons, in (...)
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  • Neutrality and Perfectionism in Public Health.Hafez Ismaili M’Hamdi - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (9):31-42.
    The aim of this article is twofold. First is to demonstrate that most values that underpin public health policy are a source of reasonable disagreement amongst citizens to whom said policy applies....
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  • Allocation of organ donation, public reason, and democracy.Marco Iorio - 2015 - Ethik in der Medizin 27 (4):287-300.
    ZusammenfassungDie bestehende Praxis der Allokation postmortaler Organspenden ist in mehrfacher Hinsicht ethisch bedenklich. Vor dem Hintergrund einer Kritik dieser Praxis fragt der Artikel, wie eine moralisch akzeptablere Verteilungspraxis aussehen könnte. Dabei wird herausgestellt, dass es sich bei der Verteilungsproblematik um ein Gerechtigkeitsproblem handelt, das keine allgemein konsensfähige Lösung zuzulassen scheint. Dies wird anhand der Gerechtigkeitstheorie von Rawls erläutert, deren Mängel zum Projekt einer realistischen Theorie der Politik führen. Der politische Realismus macht deutlich, dass es einer Demokratisierung der Allokationspraxis bedarf. Der (...)
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  • Natural Law Among Moral Strangers.B. Goss & R. Vitz - 2014 - Christian Bioethics 20 (2):283-300.
    Our goal in this paper is two-fold. First, we aim to clarify two ways in which contemporary Christian bioethicists have erred, on Engelhardt’s account, in their attempts to do bioethics within a distinctively non-Christian idiom, namely, either (1) by rejecting a principal metaethical thesis or (2) by misrepresenting a principal moral-epistemological thesis of natural-law ethics, properly construed. Second, we intend to show not only that Engelhardt can and should endorse the Christian bioethicists’ use of non-Christian moral idioms in the public (...)
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  • Global Public Reason, Diversity, and Consent.Samuel Director - 2019 - Philosophical Papers 48 (1):31-57.
    In this paper, I examine global public reason as a method of justifying a global state. Ultimately, I conclude that global public reason fails to justify a global state. This is the case, because global public reason faces an unwinnable dilemma. The global public reason theorist must endorse either a hypothetical theory of consent or an actual theory of consent; if she endorses a theory of hypothetical consent, then she fails to justify her principles; and if she endorses a theory (...)
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  • Democratic Decision Making and the Psychology of Risk.Andreas Christiansen & Bjørn Hallsson - 2017 - Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 12 (1):51-83.
    Andreas Christiansen,Bjørn Hallsson | : In many cases, the public want to restrict an activity or technology that they believe to be dangerous, but that scientific experts believe to be safe. There is thus a tension between respecting the preferences of the people and making policy based on our best scientific knowledge. Deciding how to make policy in the light of this tension requires an understanding of why citizens sometimes disagree with the experts on what is risky and what is (...)
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  • The Language of Public Reason.Brian Carey - 2022 - Journal of Social Philosophy 53 (1):93-112.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, Volume 53, Issue 1, Page 93-112, Spring 2022.
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  • Public Reason—Honesty, Not Sincerity.Brian Carey - 2018 - Journal of Political Philosophy 26 (1):47-64.
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  • In the Frame: The Language of AI.Helen Bones, Susan Ford, Rachel Hendery, Kate Richards & Teresa Swist - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology 34 (S1):23-44.
    In this article, drawing upon a feminist epistemology, we examine the critical roles that philosophical standpoint, historical usage, gender, and language play in a knowledge arena which is increasingly opaque to the general public. Focussing on the language dimension in particular, in its historical and social dimensions, we explicate how some keywords in use across artificial intelligence discourses inform and misinform non-expert understandings of this area. The insights gained could help to imagine how AI technologies could be better conceptualised, explained, (...)
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  • Algorithmic Accountability and Public Reason.Reuben Binns - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):543-556.
    The ever-increasing application of algorithms to decision-making in a range of social contexts has prompted demands for algorithmic accountability. Accountable decision-makers must provide their decision-subjects with justifications for their automated system’s outputs, but what kinds of broader principles should we expect such justifications to appeal to? Drawing from political philosophy, I present an account of algorithmic accountability in terms of the democratic ideal of ‘public reason’. I argue that situating demands for algorithmic accountability within this justificatory framework enables us to (...)
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  • Responding Well to Spiritual Worldviews: A Taxonomy for Clinical Ethicists.Trevor M. Bibler - forthcoming - HEC Forum:1-15.
    Every clinical ethics consultant, no matter their own spirituality, will meet patients, families, and healthcare professionals whose spiritualities anchor their moral worldviews. How might ethicists respond to those who rely on spirituality when making medical decisions? And further, should ethicists incorporate their own spiritual commitments into their clinical analyses and recommendations? These questions prompt reflection on foundational issues in the philosophy of medicine, political and moral theory, and methods of proper clinical ethics consultation. Rather than attempting to offer definitive answers (...)
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  • Rescuing Public Reason Liberalism’s Accessibility Requirement.Gabriele Badano & Matteo Bonotti - 2020 - Law and Philosophy 39 (1):35-65.
    Public reason liberalism is defined by the idea that laws and policies should be justifiable to each person who is subject to them. But what does it mean for reasons to be public or, in other words, suitable for this process of justification? In response to this question, Kevin Vallier has recently developed the traditional distinction between consensus and convergence public reason into a classification distinguishing three main approaches: shareability, accessibility and intelligibility. The goal of this paper is to defend (...)
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  • Public Reason and Prenatal Moral Status.Jeremy Williams - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (1):23-52.
    This paper provides a new analysis and critique of Rawlsian public reason’s handling of the abortion question. It is often claimed that public reason is indeterminate on abortion, because it cannot say enough about prenatal moral status, or give content to the political value which Rawls calls ‘respect for human life’. I argue that public reason requires much greater argumentative restraint from citizens debating abortion than critics have acknowledged. Beyond the preliminary observation that fetuses do not meet the criteria of (...)
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  • Political Liberalism and Respect.Han Wietmarschen - 2021 - Journal of Political Philosophy 29 (3):353-374.
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  • Public Reason, Non-Public Reasons, and the Accessibility Requirement.Jason Tyndal - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (8):1062-1082.
    In Liberalism without Perfection, Jonathan Quong develops what is perhaps the most comprehensive defense of the consensus model of public reason – a model which incorporates both a public-reasons-only requirement and an accessibility requirement framed in terms of shared evaluative standards. While the consensus model arguably predominates amongst public reason liberals, it is criticized by convergence theorists who reject both the public-reasons-only requirement and the accessibility requirement. In this paper, I argue that while we have good reason to reject Quong’s (...)
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  • Justified State Partiality and the Vulnerable Subject in Migration.Christine Straehle - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (6):736-744.
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  • Why Populists Do Well on Social Networks.Kai Spiekermann - 2020 - Global Justice : Theory Practice Rhetoric 12 (2):50-71.
    A link between populism and social media is often suspected. This paper spells out a set of possible mechanisms underpinning this link: that social media changes the communication structure of the public sphere, making it harder for citizens to obtain evidence that refutes populist assumptions. By developing a model of the public sphere, four core functions of the public sphere are identified: exposing citizens to diverse information, promoting equality of deliberative opportunity, creating deliberative transparency, and producing common knowledge. A wellworking (...)
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  • Legitimacy in Bioethics: Challenging the Orthodoxy.William R. Smith - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (6):416-423.
    Several prominent writers including Norman Daniels, James Sabin, Amy Gutmann, Dennis Thompson and Leonard Fleck advance a view of legitimacy according to which, roughly, policies are legitimate if and only if they result from democratic deliberation, which employs only public reasons that are publicised to stakeholders. Yet, the process described by this view contrasts with the actual processes involved in creating the Affordable Care Act and in attempting to pass the Health Securities Act. Since the ACA seems to be legitimate, (...)
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  • Making Sense of Alternative Currencies.Louis Larue - 2019 - Dissertation, Université Catholique de Louvain
    The main goal of this thesis is to provide a clear basis for the analysis of alternative currencies, such as Bitcoin, LETS, Local currencies, the WIR or Carbon currencies. It attempts to determine whether alternative currencies might constitute just and workable alternatives, either in the form of small-scale experiments or in the form of more radical reforms. The first chapter proposes a new way to classify currencies. The second examines the case in favour of monetary plurality. The third analyses the (...)
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  • The Authoritative Normativity of Fitting Attitudes.R. A. Rowland - 2022 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 17:108-137.
    Some standards, such as moral and prudential standards, provide genuinely or authoritatively normative reasons for action. Other standards, such as the norms of masculinity and the mafia’s code of omerta, provide reasons but do not provide genuinely normative reasons for action. This paper first explains that there is a similar distinction amongst attitudinal standards: some attitudes (belief, desire) have standards that seem to give rise to genuine normativity; others (boredom, envy) do not. This paper gives a value-based account of which (...)
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  • Conceptual Ethics and The Methodology of Normative Inquiry.David Plunkett & Tristram McPherson - 2020 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 274-303.
    This chapter explores two central questions in the conceptual ethics of normative inquiry. The first is whether to orient one’s normative inquiry around folk normative concepts (like KNOWLEDGE or IMMORAL) or around theoretical normative concepts (like ADEQUATE EPISTEMIC JUSTIFICATION or PRO TANTO PRACTICAL REASON). The second is whether to orient one’s normative inquiry around concepts whose normative authority is especially accessible to us (such as OUGHT ALL THINGS CONSIDERED), or around concepts whose extension is especially accessible to us (such as (...)
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  • Against Legal Punishment.Nathan Hanna - forthcoming - In Matthew C. Altman (ed.), Palgrave Handbook on the Philosophy of Punishment. Palgrave.
    I argue that legal punishment is morally wrong because it’s too morally risky. I first briefly explain how my argument differs from similar ones in the philosophical literature on legal punishment. Then I explain why legal punishment is morally risky, argue that it’s too morally risky, and discuss objections. In a nutshell, my argument goes as follows. Legal punishment is wrong because we can never sufficiently reduce the risk of doing wrong when we legally punish people. We can never sufficiently (...)
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  • Equal Respect, Liberty, and Civic Friendship: Why Liberal Public Justification Needs a Dual Understanding of Reciprocity.Sylvie Bláhová & Pavel Dufek - 2021 - Czech Journal of Political Science 1 (28):3–19.
    The paper critically discusses the dualism in the interpretation of the moral basis of public reason. We argue that in order to maintain the complementarity of both liberal and democratic values within the debate on public reason, the arguments from liberty and from civic friendship cannot be considered in isolation. With regard to the argument from liberty, we contend that because the idea of natural liberty is an indispensable starting point of liberal theory, no explanation of the justification of political (...)
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  • Modal Empiricism Made Difficult: An Essay in the Meta-Epistemology of Modality.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Gothenburg
    Philosophers have always taken an interest not only in what is actually the case, but in what is necessarily the case and what could possibly be the case. These are questions of modality. Epistemologists of modality enquire into how we can know what is necessary and what is possible. This dissertation concerns the meta-epistemology of modality. It engages with the rules that govern construction and evaluation of theories in the epistemology of modality, by using modal empiricism – a form of (...)
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  • On the Presence of Educated Religious Beliefs in the Public Sphere.Gheorghe-Ilie Farte - 2015 - Argumentum. Journal of the Seminar of Discursive Logic, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric 13 (2):146-178.
    Discursive liberal democracy might not be the best of all possible forms of government, yet in Europe it is largely accepted as such. The attractors of liberal democracy (majority rule, political equality, reasonable self-determination and an ideological framework built in a tentative manner) as well as an adequate dose of secularization (according to the doctrine of religious restraint) provide both secularist and educated religious people with the most convenient ideological framework. Unfortunately, many promoters of ideological secularization take too strong a (...)
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  • Objectivity and the Role of Journalism in Democratic Societies.Tyler Sonnemaker - unknown
    In this essay, I argue that the institution of journalism plays a vital role in informing citizens of a deliberative democratic society, and that to effectively fulfill this role, journalists must report the news objectively. I first examine the historical evolution of objectivity as it pertains to journalism. Then, I elaborate on some of the philosophical concepts that provide the foundation for objectivity. Next, I introduce John Rawls’ idea of public reason, which provides an improved understanding of the role of (...)
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