Volume 4, Issue 2, 2012
Reviewing the Rawlsian concept of public reason
This essay tries to review the main elements of the concept of public reason as presented by John Rawls with reference to his latest book (The Law of Peoples with The Idea of Public Reason Revisited) and simultaneously brings up the arguments for and against this concept that have been put forward by the literature. Many of the arguments presented here are not new, but what this essay aims at is a reassessment of the debate by confronting many of the interpretations and points of view raised around the concept of public reason. Based on the argumentation that if ‘right’ precedes this leaves room for the (different existences of) ‘good’ I propose that public reason ought to be conceived more as a political concept and less of a comprehensive account of morality.