From public reason to deliberative democracy

pages: 237-256

  • Ivan Mladenović Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade


In this paper I shall investigate the relationship between public reason and deliberative democracy, mainly as it is presented in Rawls’s later political theory. Against the critics who claim that Rawls has no deliberative democratic theory, I shall argue that he presented a complex view of public deliberation that contains a set of formal and substantive requirements derived from the idea of public reason. My main aim in this paper is to defend and further elaborate the thesis that Rawls’s later political theory is crucially important for deliberative democracy. Furthermore, in light of the recent literature on deliberative democracy, I examine the relevance of Rawls’s view for addressing some current problems, but also look at some limits of the public reason perspective. Keywords: public reason, deliberative democracy, reasonableness, consensus, majority rule


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