Congratulations to the Freedom Center's own Dr. Gerald Gaus for editing Public Reason in Political Philosophy with Dr. Piers Norris Turner.
From the publisher:
When people of good faith and sound mind disagree deeply about moral, religious, and other philosophical matters, how can we justify political institutions to all of them? The idea of public reason—of a shared public standard, despite disagreement—arose in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the work of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Kant. At a time when John Rawls’ influential theory of public reason has come under fire but its core idea remains attractive to many, it is important not to lose sight of earlier philosophers’ answers to the problem of private conflict through public reason.
The distinctive selections from the great social contract theorists in this volume emphasize the pervasive theme of intractable disagreement and the need for public justification. New essays by leading scholars then put the historical work in context and provide a focus of debate and discussion. They also explore how the search for public reason has informed a wider body of modern political theory—in the work of Hume, Hegel, Bentham, and Mill—sometimes in surprising ways. The idea of public reason is revealed as an overarching theme in modern political philosophy—one very much needed today.
Table of Contents
PART 1: PUBLIC REASON IN SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY
Hobbes from Leviathan
Critical Essay: Sharon A. Lloyd, Public Reason in Hobbes
Locke from Second Treatise of Government
A Letter Concerning Toleration
Critical Essay: Gerald F. Gaus, Locke’s Liberal Theory of Public Reason
Rousseau from A Discourse on Political Economy
The Social Contract
Critical Essay: Christopher Bertram, Rousseau on Public Reason
Kant from The Science of Right
The Principles of Political Right Considered in Common with the Relation of Theory to Practice in the Right of the State
What is Enlightenment?
Critical Essay: Oliver Sensen, Kant on Public Reason
PART 2: PUBLIC REASON IN BROADER HISTORICAL CONTEXT
Hume Critical Essay: Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, Hume’s Theory of Public Reason
Hegel Critical Essay: Kenneth R. Westphal, The Centrality of Public Reason in Hegel’s Moral Philosophy
Bentham Critical Essay: Gerald J. Postema, Jeremy Bentham: Theorist of Publicity
Mill Critical Essay: Piers Norris Turner, Social Morality in Mill