SOPhiA 2017

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Three Building Blocks of Real Public Reason
(Political Philosophy, English)

The central puzzle of liberalism is the concurrence of deep reasonable pluralism and normative individualism. If the assumption of pluralism on all levels is taken seriously, it becomes very difficult to build a justificatory theory connecting individual reasoning and social states or rules of any kind. According to many scholars, specifically those referred to as realists, the grand theories of public reason (i.e. Rawls and Habermas), have failed to come to terms with the reality of ineradicable conflict. I find this line of critique persuasive and therefore argue for real public reason as an alternative approach. The proposed paper will defend its three central building blocks. The first central thesis is that any principles or rules of good social order for a given society are to be determined by the actual history and social processes - i.e. the real politics - of that society, because we cannot reconstruct and prescribe the correct moral rules or principles of justice for a given society in theory. My second claim is that the best we can hope for in a pluralistic society is justified constitutional order as a pragmatic, open-ended ideal. This means to think of constitutional order as a compromise that is at least a modus vivendi and at best a reasonable compromise supported by ownership relations. The latter is the case when citizens have their own good reasons to endorse a constitutional order as their order. However, even if constitutional regimes can be understood as a pragmatic, reasonable compromise in this sense, how do we know that they really are and what would that actually mean for a given society? In order to offer an answer, my third thesis is that we need a form of actual agreement that puts the justification of real social orders to the test. One promising way to think about actual agreement is political participation under deliberative conditions of voluntary, well-informed and well-considered action.

Chair: Alexander Christian
Time: 14:00-14:30, 15 September 2017 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.007

Florian Wieczorek 
(University of Hamburg, Germany)

Currently I am a Ph.D. student, working on the topic of justified social order under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Peter Niesen at the University of Hamburg. The goal of my dissertation is to formulate a realist theory of justified social order, embedded in the empirical literature on social norms, normativity and democracy research. My research interest focus on political philosophy / theory, realism, democracy research and the evolution of social norms. I received my bachelor's degree in philosophy and political science form the University of Konstanz and my master's degree in PPE from the University of Hamburg.

Testability and Meaning deco