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
     
 

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

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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.

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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)

Meet the Author

Gerald F. Gaus is Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Minnesota, Duluth and President of the International Economics and Philosophy Society. He is the author of Value and Justification: The Foundations of Liberal Theory (1990) and The Modern Liberal Theory of Man (1983).

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
1Introductory: Epistemology and Political Theory3
2Believing for Reasons17
3The Internal and External Perspectives30
4Taming Relativism45
5Inferential Justification63
6Why All Justification Cannot Be Purely Inferential74
7Foundationalism and Intuitionism85
8Private, Social, and Public Reasoners113
9Whereat Is Public Justification?130
10Liberal Principles159
11Inconclusive Public Reasoning179
12The Rule of Law195
13Tracking Desiderata for Law-making Institutions215
14Political Equality246
15Challenges to Adjudicative Democracy258
16The Judiciary and the Limits of Legislation275
17Conclusion: Justificatory Liberalism and Its Rivals292
Appendix: Liberal Principles in a World of States296
Notes303
Bibliography340
Index363

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