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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 37, Issue Supplement, 2012

Selected Papers from the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Tong Shijun
Pages 29-45
DOI: 10.5840/jpr201237Supplement23

“Overlapping Consensus” on “Overlapping Consensus”

Many people show great interest in the idea of “overlapping consensus” proposed by John Rawls. On the basis of a careful reading of different understandings of this idea, or the “overlapping consensus” on the idea of “overlapping consensus,” we can say that there are three levels of “overlapping consensus.” At the first level, people with different positions treat each other in the same reasonable attitude. At the second level, people holding different values support the same norms on the basis of their respective values or by taking each other’s perspectives in the moral discourse. At the third level, people who currently hold different “moral sources” of the shared norms are never-the-less ready to be engaged in a common learning process that aims for a “fusion of horizons” in the future. Overlapping consensuses at all these levels should not only be discussed in political philosophy, or discovered in political culture, but also constructed in political practice.