Justificatory Liberalism: An Essay on Epistemology and Political Theory by Gerald F. Gaus

Justificatory Liberalism: An Essay on Epistemology and Political Theory

byGerald F. Gaus

Paperback | March 1, 1995

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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. Conclusivejustification, 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 aredefended as elements of a publicly justified umpiring procedure.

About 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).

Details & Specs

Title:Justificatory Liberalism: An Essay on Epistemology and Political TheoryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:392 pages, 9.25 × 6.18 × 0.91 inPublished:March 1, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195094409

ISBN - 13:9780195094404

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"This impressive book is a detailed exploration...readers interested in contemporary liberalism will find their understanding of it significantly enhanced by this book"--Ethics