Private Consciences and Public Reasons by Kent Greenawalt

Private Consciences and Public Reasons

byKent Greenawalt

Paperback | May 1, 1994

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Within democratic societies, a deep division exists over the nature of community and the grounds for political life. Should the political order be neutral between competing conceptions of the good life or should it be based on some such conception? This book addresses one crucial set ofproblems raised by this division: What bases should officials and citizens employ in reaching political decisions and justifying their positions? Should they feel free to rely on whatever grounds seem otherwise persuasive to them, like religious convictions, or should they restrict themselves to"public reasons," reasons that are shared within the society or arise from the premises of liberal democracy? Kent Greenawalt argues that fundamental premises of liberal democracy alone do not provides answers to these questions, that much depends on historical and cultural contexts. Afterexamining past and current practices and attitudes in the United States, he offers concrete suggestions for appropriate principles relevant to American society today. This incisive and timely analysis by one of our leading legal philosophers should attract a wide and diverse readership of scholars,practitioners, and concerned citizens.

About The Author

Kent Greenawalt is at Columbia University.
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Details & Specs

Title:Private Consciences and Public ReasonsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.25 × 6.06 × 0.63 inPublished:May 1, 1994Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195094190

ISBN - 13:9780195094190

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"...The best survey of the contemporary debate over "public reason" you will find anywhere. The greatest virtue of Greenawalt's fine book is that he rejects liberal dogmatism."--Hastings Center Report