published on August 12, 2022
Reconciliation or Anticipation?
Reasonable Hope beyond Rawls
What may democratic citizens hope for? In order to answer this question, this article takes its cue from John Rawls’s notion of reasonable hope. Rawls is acutely aware of a tension we face in demarcating the limits of hope in democratic politics, yet fails to resolve it: hope should allow us to critically distance ourselves from the existing social world, yet not be entirely disconnected from it. In order to do justice to both desiderata, I propose to distinguish between individual and collective levels of reasonable hope, with democratic institutions and practices mediating between the two.