The Order of Public Reason: A Theory of Freedom and Morality in a Diverse and Bounded World

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Dezember 2010



Gerald Gaus shows how a free society can secure a moral equilibrium endorsed by all, and how a just state respects such an equilibrium.


1. The fundamental problem; Part I. Social Order and Social Morality: 2. The failure of instrumentalism; 3. Social morality as the sphere of rules; 4. Emotion and reason in social morality; Part II. Real Public Reason: 5. The justificatory problem and the deliberative model; 6. The rights of the moderns; 7. Moral equilibrium and moral freedom; 8. The moral and political orders; Appendix A: the plurality of morality; Appendix B: Mozick's attempt to solve the prisoner's dilemma; Appendix C: deontic utility functions; Appendix D: the Kantian coordination game; Appendix E: protection of property rights and economic freedom in states that do best at protecting civil rights.


Gerald Gaus is currently the James E. Rogers Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona. He was previously Professor of Philosophy and Political Economy at Tulane University. He is the author of a number of books, including On Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (2008), Contemporary Theories of Liberalism (2003) and Justificatory Liberalism (1996). He has been an editor of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy and was a founding editor of Politics, Philosophy & Economics. His essay 'On Justifying the Moral Rights of the Moderns' won the 2009 American Philosophical Association's Kavka Award.


Review of the hardback: 'The Order of Public Reason is one of the most ambitious and accomplished works in moral philosophy of the first decade of the new century. Gaus's command of the relevant literature in philosophy, economics, psychology, and elsewhere is daunting, and his ability to orchestrate a sustained argument leading from foundational postulates of the logic of practical reason to prescriptions for effective politics is altogether masterful.' Loren Lomasky, University of Virginia Review of the hardback: 'Gerald Gaus has written a refreshingly ambitious book that is both analytically rigorous and conscientiously engaged with the history of political philosophy. Drawing upon considerations from economics, psychology, evolutionary theory, social epistemology, and meta-ethics, Gaus advances an original view of the moral principles that provide the groundwork for a liberal society. He then endeavors to show that these basic principles can be justified to all, despite the enduring moral disagreements that are inevitable among free persons. Tightly argued and elegantly written, The Order of Public Reason will launch a new round of debates over liberalism. Readers will find ample occasion for disagreement with Gaus, but no one will emerge from these pages without having learned a great deal. With this book, Gerald Gaus makes a profound contribution not only to political theory, but to philosophy as such.' Robert Talisse, Vanderbilt University Review of the hardback: 'Much of the best contemporary work in moral theory falls in two hitherto separate camps, a Kantian camp that seeks to derive a universal morality via rational deliberation and a Humean camp that seeks to account for moral norms as the product of cultural evolution. In The Order of Public Reason, Gerald Gaus argues forcefully that moral philosophers need to draw inspiration from both Hume and Kant. Gaus integrates large parts of the recent rational deliberation and evolutionary traditions in ethics, demonstrating that one can both explain social morality as an evolved equilibrium and justify this equilibrium as a system of norms a community of free and equal persons can endorse ... a pioneering study that incorporates an extraordinary range of works of moral philosophers ... together with the most important relevant tools from the social sciences.' Peter Vanderschraaf, University of California, Merced Review of the hardback: 'Gaus's book is highly complex and stimulating, covering a daunting range of topics. It provides, I believe, the most complete and rigorous defense of classical liberalism available to date, and will certainly spark an industry of debate, elaboration, and discussion. It deserves to do so. I have been able to touch on only a small number of the interesting topics in the book ... I learned from nearly every page. It would be an excellent book to anchor a graduate seminar in moral or political philosophy.' Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
EAN: 9780521868563
ISBN: 0521868564
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Dezember 2010
Seitenanzahl: 621 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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