Sunday, February 17, 2013

Paper on Religious Reasons in Public Justification

Andrew F. March (Yale) has posted a new paper at SSRN:

"Rethinking Religious Reasons in Public Justification"
(forthcoming in "American Political Science Review")

"This paper intervenes in the debate on the place of religious arguments in public reason. I advance the debate not by asking whether something called “religious reasons” ought to be invoked in the justification of coercive laws, but by creating a typology of (a) different kinds and modes of religious arguments and, more importantly, (b) different areas of human and social life which coercive laws regulate or about which human political communities deliberate. Religious arguments are of many different kinds, are offered to others in a variety of ways, and the spheres of life about which communities deliberate pose distinct moral question. Turning back to the public reason debate, I argue then that liberals ought to be concerned only about the invocation of a certain subset of religious reasons only in a certain subset of areas of human activity, but also that inclusivist arguments on behalf of religious contributions to public deliberation both fail to explain the moral appeal of religious arguments and fail to justify the use of religious arguments in all areas of public deliberation."

Andrew F. March is a Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University. He is the author of "Islam and Liberal Citizenship: The Search for an Overlapping Consensus" (Oxford University Press, 2009). Many of his papers are available here.

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