Natural Law and Public Reason

Published Date: April 14, 2000 | Topics: Natural Law

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“Public reason” is one of the central concepts in modern liberal political theory. As articulated by John Rawls, it presents a way to overcome the difficulties created by intractable differences among citizens’ religious and moral beliefs by strictly confining the place of such convictions in the public sphere.

Identifying this conception as a key point of conflict, this book presents a debate among contemporary natural law and liberal political theorists on the definition and validity of the idea of public reason. Its distinguished contributors examine the consequences of interpreting public reason more broadly as “right reason,” according to natural law theory, versus understanding it in the narrower sense in which Rawls intended. They test public reason by examining its implications for current issues, confronting the questions of abortion and slavery and matters relating to citizenship.

This energetic exchange advances our understanding of both Rawls’s contribution to political philosophy and the lasting relevance of natural law. It provides new insights into crucial issues facing society today as it points to new ways of thinking about political theory and practice.

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A Second Look at First Things: A Case for Conservative Politics

Published Date: July 15, 2013 | Co Authors: Francis J. Beckwith, Susan McWilliams | Topics: Politics and Current Affairs

The conservative movement in America seems to have fallen on hard times. Even though conservative talk radio is at its height, and President Obama had to shift to the political center to win the 2008 election (only to disappoint months after his inauguration), conservative ideas garner little excitement or serious engagement among young people as […]

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Great Cases in Constitutional Law

Published Date: March 19, 2000 | Topics: Constitutional Issues

Slavery, segregation, abortion, workers’ rights, the power of the courts. These issues have been at the heart of the greatest constitutional controversies in American history. And in this concise and thought-provoking volume, some of today’s most distinguished legal scholars and commentators explain for a general audience how five landmark Supreme Court cases centered on those […]

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