3 years ago

Two Misunderstandings About Public Justification and Religious Reasons

Aurélia Bardon


Two important objections have been raised against exclusivist public reason (EPR). First, it has been argued that EPR entails an unjust burden for citizens who want to appeal to non-public reasons, especially religious reasons. Second, it has been argued that EPR is based on a problematic conception of religious reasons and that it ignores the fact that religious reasons can be public as well. I defend EPR against both objections. I show that the first objection conflates two ideas of public justification (public justification as a conception of political legitimacy and public justification as an ideal of civility) and that the second objection conflates two ways to understand and identify religious reasons. Ultimately, it turns out that those who defend such objections actually share the concerns that justified EPR in the first place. In other words, if we are clear about the idea of public justification and the kind of religious reasons that EPR is really about, it appears that justificatory liberals are in fact all exclusivists.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10982-018-9330-z

DOI: 10.1007/s10982-018-9330-z

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