Justificatory Liberalism: An Essay on Epistemology and Political Theory / Edition 1

Justificatory Liberalism: An Essay on Epistemology and Political Theory / Edition 1

by Gerald F. Gaus
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195094409

ISBN-13: 9780195094404

Pub. Date: 03/28/1996

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Gerald Gaus draws on current work in epistemology and cognitive psychology to defend a modest version of cognitive relativism. Building on this theory of personal justification, he asks, "How do we justify moral and political principles to others?" Here, the "populist" proposal put forward by "political liberals"—that the assent

Overview

Gerald Gaus draws on current work in epistemology and cognitive psychology to defend a modest version of cognitive relativism. Building on this theory of personal justification, he asks, "How do we justify moral and political principles to others?" Here, the "populist" proposal put forward by "political liberals"—that the assent of all reasonable citizens must be obtained—is considered and rejected. Because reasonable people often ignore excellent reasons, moral and political principles can be considered conclusively justified, even in the face of some reasonable dissent. Conclusive justification, however, is difficult to achieve, and Gaus acknowledges that most of our public justifications are inconclusive. He then addresses the question of how citizens can adjudicate their inconclusive public justifications. The rule of law, liberal democracy and limited judicial review are defended as elements of a publicly justified umpiring procedure.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195094404
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/28/1996
Series:
Oxford Political Theory Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
392
Product dimensions:
6.19(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations xv
Introductory: Epistemology and Political Theory
3(14)
Justificatory Liberalism
3(2)
Moral Epistemology
5(5)
Public and Personal Justification
10(2)
Plan of the Book
12(5)
PART I---PERSONAL JUSTIFICATION
Believing for Reasons
17(13)
Giving, Having, and Believing for Reasons
17(2)
Reasons as Causes of Beliefs
19(4)
Sustaining Causes and Justified Belief
23(2)
Efficient Causation and Justification
25(3)
Are All Reasons for Beliefs Themselves Beliefs?
28(2)
The Internal and External Perspectives
30(15)
Open and Closed Justification
30(2)
Externalist Justifications
32(3)
Belief Commitments and Tacit Beliefs
35(3)
Relativism of Reasons
38(4)
Relativism and Belief Systems
42(3)
Taming Relativism
45(18)
Why We are Not Committed to Normative Cognitive Pluralism
45(2)
Natural Mental Logic
47(1)
Mutual Intelligibility and the Limits of Pluralism
48(4)
Stich's Objection to the Bridgehead
52(2)
Inferential Errors
54(5)
Are the Subjects Really Wrong?
59(4)
Inferential Justification
63(11)
The Argument Thus Far
63(1)
Four Axioms of Inferential Justification
64(2)
Defeating Reasons
66(4)
Epistemic Akrasia
70(4)
Why All Justification Cannot Be Purely Inferential
74(11)
The Regress Argument
74(2)
Global Coherentism
76(5)
Inferential Justification and Web Coherentism
81(2)
Conclusion: Coherence and Inference
83(2)
Foundationalism and Intuitionism
85(28)
Coherence Theories and Self-Justified Beliefs
85(6)
Weak Foundationalism
91(6)
Moral Intuitionism
97(4)
Reflective Equilibrium
101(7)
Summary of Part I
108(5)
PART II---PUBLIC JUSTIFICATION
Private, Social, and Public Reasoners
113(17)
Private Reasoners
113(3)
Social Reasoners and Intersubjective Agreement
116(4)
Why Reason Publicly?
120(3)
Moral Demands and Moral Authority
123(6)
Public Reason and Moral Demands
129(1)
What is Public Justification?
130(29)
Populist Theories of Public Justification
130(7)
Openly Justifiable Demands
137(7)
Defeated and Victorious Justifications
144(7)
Undefeated Justifications
151(8)
Liberal Principles
159(20)
Victorious Justification: Constraints and Resources
159(3)
Toleration, Free Speech, and the Commitment to Public Justification
162(6)
Immunities as Defeated Proposals
168(3)
The Public and Private
171(4)
Why the Reflexivity Requirement is Misguided
175(4)
Inconclusive Public Reasoning
179(16)
Two Unacceptable Responses to Inconclusiveness
179(5)
Liberal Authority
184(11)
PART III---POLITICAL JUSTIFICATION
The Rule of Law
195(20)
Three Aspects of the Rule of Law
196(1)
The Internal Morality of Law
197(2)
Rights
199(5)
Constitutionalism
204(9)
Liberal Constitutions and Constitutional Politics
213(2)
Tracking Desiderata for Law-Making Institutions
215(31)
Law-Making Institutions
215(2)
The Political Contract
217(6)
Inconclusiveness, Indeterminacy, and Random Democracy
223(3)
Widely Responsive Procedures
226(4)
Deliberative Procedures
230(7)
Non-Neutral Procedures
237(9)
Political Equality
246(12)
The Limits of the Consequentialist Justification of Democracy
246(2)
The Principle of Equality and Political Equality
248(5)
On Political Inequality
253(5)
Challenges to Adjudicative Democracy
258(17)
The Challenge from Social Choice Theory
258(2)
The Charge of Public Incompetence
260(3)
Politics, Self-Interest, and Adjudication
263(4)
Vote Trading
267(4)
Adjudication versus Mediation
271(4)
The Judiciary and the Limits of Legislation
275(17)
Judges as Umpires
275(4)
Judicial Review
279(7)
The Moral Obligation to Obey the Law and its Limits
286(2)
Revolution and Utopian Aspirations
288(4)
Conclusion: Justificatory Liberalism and its Rivals
292(4)
Appendix: Liberal Principles in a World of States 296(7)
Notes 303(37)
Bibliography 340(23)
Index 363

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