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“Autonomy, Community, and the Justification of Public Reason”

New article by Emil Andersson, former post-doctoral researcher at CRÉ, entitled “Autonomy, Community, and the Justification of Public Reason”, published in the Canadian Journal of Philosophy.


Recently, there have been attempts at offering new justifications of the Rawlsian idea of public reason. Blain Neufeld has suggested that the ideal of political autonomy justifies public reason, while R.J. Leland and Han van Wietmarschen have sought to justify the idea by appealing to the value of political community. In this paper, I show that both proposals are vulnerable to a common problem. In realistic circumstances, they will often turn into reasons to oppose, rather than support, public reason. However, this counterintuitive result can be avoided if we conceive of autonomy and community differently.