Reasonableness in Liberal Political Philosophy  book cover
1st Edition

Reasonableness in Liberal Political Philosophy

Edited By

Shaun Young

ISBN 9781138882324
Published February 4, 2019 by Routledge
180 Pages

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Book Description

Previously published as a special issue of the Critical Review of Social and Political Philosophy, this collection offers a thought-provoking critique of the role of the concept of reasonableness in liberal political theory, focusing on the proposed relationship between reasonableness and the establishment and preservation of a just and stable liberal polity.

The essays explore the explicit and implicit use of the idea of reasonableness, presenting an analysis that incorporates normative and empirical observations and employs a number of different analytical approaches, including liberalism, feminism, environmentalism, Marxism, and communitarianism. This unique book provides in a single volume a critique that engages not only a vast array of issues but also a diversity of critical perspectives. It not only rectifies a deficiency in the existing scholarship, but also addresses the issues of socio-political justice and stability, offering new, insightful critiques that respond to the increasingly complex circumstances and conflicts that confront life in contemporary pluralistic societies.

Reasonableness in Liberal Political Philosophy will be a valuable resource for those interested in liberal political theory and its potential usefulness in helping to secure a just and stable polity.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Reason(ableness) and Conscience in Liberal Political Theory (Edward Andrew, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto)

Chapter 2: Reasonable Judgments and Collective Choice: Voting in a Deliberative Democracy (Gerald F. Gaus, Department of Philosophy, Tulane University)

Chapter 3: Reasonableness and Exclusion (J. Donald Moon, Department of Government, Wesleyan University)

Chapter 4: Reasonableness and the Limits of Political Liberalism (Patrick Neal, Department of Political Science, University of Vermont)

Chapter 5: The Problem of Reasonableness (Shaun Young, Department of Political Science, York University)

Chapter 6: Liberalism, Reason(ableness) and the Politicization of Truth: Marx’s Critique and the Ironies of Marxism (Terrell Carver, Department of Politics, University of Bristol)

Chapter 7: Unreasonable Environmentalism, or Why Greens are Not Liberals (Mathew Humphrey, School of Politics, University of Nottingham)

Chapter 8: The Gender of Public Reason(ableness) (Ann E. Cudd, Department of Philosophy, Department of Women’s Studies, University of Kansas)

Chapter 9: What is Reasonableness? And Is It Reasonable to Demand That of Citizens in a Liberal Democracy? (Thomas Spragens, Jr., Department of Political Science, Duke University)

Chapter 10: The Unreasonableness of the Idea of “Public Reason” (Steven Kautz, Department of Political Science, Michigan State University)

Notes on Contributors


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Shaun P. Young is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Political Science at York University, and a visiting Fellow at McLaughlin College, York University. He is the author of Beyond Rawls: An Analysis of the Concept of Political Liberalism and contributing editor of Political Liberalism: Variations on a Theme. His work has also appeared in various scholarly journals, including the Journal of Social Philosophy, the European Journal of Political Theory, Ethics, The Review of Politics, the Journal of Politics, Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review, Philosophy in Review, Theoria, Contemporary Political Theory, the Canadian Journal of Political Science, and Canadian Public Administration. Forthcoming projects include a book entitled Reasonable Public Policy.