Public reason liberalism is the most influential position in the debate concerning the problem of reasonable pluralism. The core of this account relies on the idea that coercion must be justified to all citizens with reasons they can reasonably be expected to accept. Citizens ought to discipline themselves in public discourse because respect triggers a duty to support only those laws for which they have public justification. The notion of respect is pivotal to all forms of public reason liberalism, both consensus and convergence, for it frames the very idea of public justification (Rawls 1993; Gaus 2011). However, the concept of respect as used within public reason liberalism is controversial. In this paper, I question public reason liberals’ defence of the link between respect and public justification, I argue that the idea of respect thereby employed turn out to be authoritarian, and show that the problem rests on a misunderstanding about justification. First, I tackle Rawls’s account and argue that his famous distinction between reasonable and unreasonable citizens is problematic because it undercuts its own scope of justifying a political conception of justice to all. Indeed, since public justification is realized by agreement on shared reasons, only those reasonable citizens who prioritize political values over their comprehensive doctrine are given reasons they can accept. In this sense, since public justification is not possible with unreasonable citizens, the requirements mandated by respect do not hold towards them. Secondly, I engage with Gaus’s latest theory and argue that his intelligibility requirement set on evaluative standpoints (2011, 279-282) is problematic. Given that the term “intelligibility”, as it is presented by Gaus, seems to denote more than mere comprehension, and that public justification should represent a test only for intelligible standpoints, the theory ends up being in contrast with his own idea that it is wrong to subject someone to rules she does not have reason to endorse. Both Rawls’s and Gaus’s theory intend the notion of respect as a duty to resist the temptation to subject others to one’s private judgment. However, although it is correct to think that there is something morally objectionable to coerce another on the basis of one’s beliefs, there is nothing wrong to coerce another on the basis of what I call one’s reasons, namely on those features of the circumstances that make it the case for a certain law or policy to be wrong (Raz 1998; Enoch 2013). Since there is nothing authoritarian about issuing a certain demand on the basis that it is the case, not to abide by the rules of public justification is not by itself disrespectful. Moreover, in general, it seems that public reason liberals take for granted the idea that to respect one is to provide her with reasons she can accept. However, they fail to provide a real argument for such a claim and mostly rely on its intuitive appeal and misunderstand what justification is really about. Without a convincing argument from respect, public reason liberalism fails.
|Titolo:||Respect and Justification: a problem for public reason liberalism|
BISTAGNINO, GIULIA (Primo)
|Data di pubblicazione:||12-giu-2014|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore SPS/01 - Filosofia Politica|
|Enti collegati al convegno:||Centro di Ricerca e Documentazione Luigi Einaudi|
|Citazione:||Respect and Justification: a problem for public reason liberalism / G. Bistagnino. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Public Reason and Disagreement tenutosi a Torino nel 2014.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|