‘Public Justification’

“Some political philosophers and theorists place a requirement of public justification on the permissible use of state coercion or political power. According to these theorists the recognition of citizens as free and equal moral persons requires that coercion be justified for or to others by their own lights, or with reasons that they could recognize as valid. On this view, a public justification is achieved when members of the relevant public have adequate or sufficient reason to endorse a particular coercive proposal, law or policy. Those who endorse this requirement are often called public reason liberals as they hold that the coercive power of the state must be justified for or to all members of the public on the basis of good reasons …” (more)

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, first published Tue Feb 27, 1996, substantive revision Thu Mar 1, 2018.

First posted 2018-03-02 06:41:54

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