Thursday, February 06, 2014

Sadurski on Public Reason and Legitimacy

Professor Wojciech Sadurski has posted a new paper on SSRN:

Legitimacy of Law in a Liberal State: The Contours of Public Reason

In contemporary liberal philosophy, the idea of Public Reason is intimately tied up with the liberal principle of legitimacy which postulates that only those laws that are based upon arguments and reasons to which no members of the society have a rational reason to object can boast political legitimacy, and as such can be applied coercively even to those who actually disagree with them. In this working paper I suggest the ways of fine-tuning the idea of Public Reason in such a way as to make it more immune to its critics. In particular, I explain what specifically it means for Public Reason to be an exclusionary, second-order rule about the exclusion of reasons which can figure in justifications for law (Part 1), how we can plausibly claim that Public Reason may be thought to be a feasible political imperative in pluralistic societies (Part 2), what should be its scope of application, both in terms of the types of laws to which it applies and the actors who should be bound by it (Part 3), and what specifically is at stake if we see the status of Public Reason as a legitimacy-conferring device (Part 4).

Wojciech Sadurski is Challis Professor in Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney. He is the author of "Equality and Legitimacy" (Oxford University Press, 2008) and co-editor (with David Kinley and Kevin Walton) of "Human Rights: Old Problems, New Possibilities" (Edward Elgar, 2013).

No comments: