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  1. 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • Political Liberalism and Public Justification: The Deep View.Thomas M. Besch - manuscript
    (Please note: the main ideas of this paper are restated in revised/developed form in: "On actualist and fundamental public justification in political liberalism" and "Patterns of justification: on political liberalism and the primacy of public justification". Both papers are available from philpapers.) The paper suggests the deep view of Rawls-type public justification as promising, non-ideal theory variant of an internal conception of political liberalism. To this end, I demonstrate how the deep view integrates a range of ideas, views and commitments (...)
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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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