Private Consciences and Public Reasons

Private Consciences and Public Reasons

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Within democratic societies, a deep division exists over the nature of community and the grounds for political life. Should the political order be neutral between competing conceptions of the good life or should it be based on some such conception? This book addresses one crucial set of problems raised by this division: What bases should officials and citizens employ in reaching political decisions and justifying their positions? Should they feel free to rely on whatever grounds seem otherwise persuasive to them, like religious convictions, or should they restrict themselves to qpublic reasons, q reasons that are shared within the society or arise from the premises of liberal democracy? Kent Greenawalt argues that fundamental premises of liberal democracy alone do not provides answers to these questions, that much depends on historical and cultural contexts. After examining past and current practices and attitudes in the United States, he offers concrete suggestions for appropriate principles relevant to American society today.We can quickly exclude the first possibility as not directly relevant for our topic. ... for political participation, and that they should enjoy liberty of speech and religious exercise are such fundamental principles. ... Thus, it might be said that in a pluralist society, the most effective means to persuade others is usually public argument in nonreligious accessible terms. ... it is not necessarily illiberal to rely upon nonaccessible religious understanding to decide that factory farming as presentlyanbsp;...


Title:Private Consciences and Public Reasons
Author: Kent Greenawalt
Publisher:Oxford University Press, USA - 1995
ISBN-13:

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