Reasonableness, Intellectual Modesty, and Reciprocity in Political Justification

Ethics 122 (4):721-747 (2012)
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Abstract

Political liberals ask citizens not to appeal to certain considerations, including religious and philosophical convictions, in political deliberation. We argue that political liberals must include a demanding requirement of intellectual modesty in their ideal of citizenship in order to motivate this deliberative restraint. The requirement calls on each citizen to believe that the best reasoners disagree about the considerations that she is barred from appealing to. Along the way, we clarify how requirements of intellectual modesty relate to moral reasons for deliberative restraint. And we argue against attempts to weaken our requirement of intellectual modesty by emphasizing those moral reasons.

Author Profiles

Han van Wietmarschen
University College London
R. J. Leland
University of Manitoba

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