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Public Reason and Peace Education
Dale Snauwaerton 8 July 2013
Transcript of Public Reason and Peace Education
Does John Rawls's idea of public reason offer a philosophical framework for theorizing Betty Reardon's idea of the political efficacy of citizens as the core goal of peace education?
Just and Peaceful Society:
"a well-ordered society as a fair system of cooperation between reasonable and rational citizens regarded as free and equal." (Rawls, Political Liberalism, p. 103)
The stability of a fair system of cooperation requires mutual assurance
What guarantees Mutual Assurance?
The coercive power of the State guarantees compliance to the law, including potentially imposition of ideological hegemony, and thus provides mutual assurance
It violates Reciprocity and thus cannot achieve
However, the Levithan is inconsistent with the self-conception of citizens as free and equal, rational and reasonable
Political Legitimacy Requires Consent of the Governed
At the core of reasonableness is
To be reasonable is to offer reasons for
one’s choices and actions that other
citizens can accept as reasonable under fair conditions (equality & impartiality)
Reciprocity defines the relationship
between citizens who have a
free and equal self-conception
Social Fact of Pluralism
Diversity of reasonable religious,
cultural, moral, and philosophical comprehensive doctrines
Burdens of judgment --
sources and causes of disagreement
A deontological conception-based social contract theory of justice
Presupposes as the basic premise the self-conception of citizens as free and equal, in possession of the the two moral powers of rationality and reasonableness
Presupposes a conception of society as a system of social cooperation
Deontological as opposed to a Teleological theory—right is independent of, is prior to, and regulates the good
Two Moral Powers
Rationality: capacity for a conception of the good
Reasonable: capacity for a sense of justice
Therefore, in order for society to be just and peaceful ("well-ordered"), the terms of social cooperation must be agreed to by the vast majority of citizens as fair/just
It is rational to be reasonable only if there is mutual assurance that others will be reasonable
Mutual assurance as a necessary condition for cooperation is illustrated by the Prisoners' Dilemma
What should be the basis of consent?
If agreement on the Truth is necessary for political consent, then consent isn’t possible under the conditions of pluralism. Agreement would have to be forced, and coerced agreement is not consent.
Pluralism of comprehensive doctrines and the burdens of judgment demonstrate that truth claims are a contested and irreconcilable, and thus, an unstable basis of consent
However, political consent is possible on the basis of reasonableness
The Idea of
What reasons, besides Truth, would be
acceptable to reasonable citizens who have different comprehensive doctrines and ends?
Such reasons must be grounded in a mutually recognized point of view – reasons must be public in this sense
A mutually recognized point of view can be found in a overlapping consensus of the values and principles of a shared political ethic grounded in the background political culture of the society
This mutually recognized point of view is
the idea and ideal of public reason – the values and principles constitute public reasons
Public reason makes government by consent possible – consent is contingent upon public reason and therefore, public reason constitutes the mode of political deliberation between free and equal citizens
Duty of Civility
An obligation, grounded in reciprocity and held by government officials and citizens, to explain and justify political choices and actions to one another in terms of the content and standards of public reason.
The Content of Public Reason
Values and principles of the agreed upon political conception justice
Standards of justification, objectivity,
deliberation, and validity
The enactment of universal Human Rights extends Reciprocity, the Duty of Civility, and therefore Public Reason to all Peoples and their relationships
The Law Of Peoples
Jus ad bellum
Jus in bello
Jus post bellum
Citizens must hold Governments accountable to fair terms of cooperation internally and externally between peoples through the exercise of public reason, demanding justification in terms of public reason;
The pursuit of State interests are thereby regulated by a public form of the reasonable
Mirrors the exercise of public reason
Knowledge of the content and standards of public reason
Pedagogy of Reflective Inquiry
critical reflective inquiry
ethical reflective inquiry
contemplative/ruminative reflective inquiry
IIPE models reflective inquiry & public reason
Governments are rational but not reasonable
Peace Education for political efficacy
When one possesses a sense of justice the Reasonable regulates the Rational--the right regulates the good
Public Reason is the mode of political deliberation acceptable to free and equal citizens, and thus
the political efficacy of citizens pertains in part to their capacity to participate in public reason as a necessary condition for a just and peaceful society
Includes the affirmation of a higher order interest in being reasonable as a part of one's good
Public reason also counters ideological hegemony, including positional confinement (that often is a cause of significant violence)
Public reason facilitates the transcendence of positional confinment
Dale T. Snauwaert
The University of Toledo
What is individually rational under conditions of distrust leads to the worst outcome—cooperation leads to the best outcome but it requires mutual assurance
Hobbes, Thomas, and Michael Oakeshott. 2008. Leviathan, or, The matter, forme and power of a commonwealth ecclesiasticall and civil. New York: Touchstone.
Rawls, John. 1993. Political liberalism, The John Dewey essays in philosophy ; no. 4. New York: Columbia University Press.
Rawls, John. 1999. The Law of Peoples. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Rawls, John, and Samuel Richard Freeman. 1999. Collected papers. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Rawls, John, and Samuel Richard Freeman. 2007. Lectures on the history of political philosophy. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Rawls, John, and Erin Kelly. 2001. Justice as fairness : a restatement. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Reardon, Betty A. 2011. "Concerns, Cautions and Possibilities for Peace Education for Political Efficacy." In Critical Peace Education: Difficult Dialogue, edited by Bryan Wright and Peter Trifonas. Springer.
Reardon, Betty A., and Dale T. Snauwaert. 2011. "Reflective Pedagogy, Cosmopolitanism, and Critical Peace Education for Political Efficacy: A Discussion of Betty A. Reardon’s Assessment of the Field." In Factis Pax: Journal of Peace Education and Social Justice no. 5 (1):1-14.
Sen, Amartya. 2006. Identity and violence : the illusion of destiny. 1st ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
Sen, Amartya. 2009. The Idea of Justice. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.