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2006

Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

John Rawls

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Public Legal Reason, Lawrence B. Solum Jan 2006

Public Legal Reason, Lawrence B. Solum

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay develops an ideal of public legal reason--a normative theory of legal reasons that is appropriate for a society characterized by religious and moral pluralism. One of the implications of this theory is that normative theorizing about public and private law should eschew reliance on the deep premises of deontology or consequentialism and should instead rely on what the author calls public values--values that can be affirmed without relying on the deep and controversial premises of particular comprehensive moral doctrines.

The ideal of public legal reason is then applied to a particular question--whether welfarism (a particular form of normative ...