Reviewing Public Reason: A Critique of Rawls’ Political Liberalism and the Idea of Public Reason

Rachael Patterson


This article provides a critical review of Rawls’ effort in Political Liberalism to construct a political theory of justice compatible with the fact of reasonable pluralism. Particular attention is given to the ‘idea of public reason’ and political liberalism’s liberal neutrality. It is argued that because of its liberal neutrality, political liberalism would preclude people from endorsing at least some reasonable comprehensive views and, therefore, as a theory it lacks the necessary stability required to be as successful as Rawls claims.

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