Global Public Reason
Immanuel Kant conceived of public reason as the freedom of individuals, being members of society and citizens of the world, to publically offer their opinions and reasoned critiques in all matters. Though Kant stressed the importance of obedience of the citizen to its sovereign, he argued that civil freedom of the use of public reason was necessary to securing the social recognition of the dignity of the individual (Kant 1784/2001).
Most famously political philosopher John Rawls refined and integrated the principle of public reason in his ideas of political liberalism and justice. Rawls’s conception of public reason permits the defense of belief or opinion in public forums, such as in judicial and political decisions as well as in political campaigns, exclusively on the basis of political reasons which all, from their disparate comprehensive moral or religious views, could reasonably accept as free and equal citizens. The use of public reason is to serve as a constraint on competing...
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