The Order of Public Reason: A Theory of Freedom and Morality in a Diverse and Bounded World

By Jerry Gaus
Cambridge University Press
June 2012
Topics:

From the publisher:
In this innovative and important work, Gerald Gaus advances a revised, and more realistic, account of public reason liberalism, showing how, in the midst of fundamental disagreement about values and moral beliefs, we can achieve a moral and political order that treats all as free and equal moral persons. The first part of this work analyzes social morality as a system of authoritative moral rules. Drawing on an earlier generation of moral philosophers such as Kurt Baier and Peter Strawson as well as current work in the social sciences, Gaus argues that our social morality is an evolved social fact, which is the necessary foundation of a mutually beneficial social order. The second part considers how this system of social moral authority can be justified to all moral persons. Drawing on the tools of game theory, social choice theory, experimental psychology, and evolutionary theory, Gaus shows how a free society can secure a moral equilibrium that is endorsed by all, and how a just state respects, and develops, such an equilibrium.

Review:

"The Order of Public Reason is one of the most ambitious and accomplished works in moral philosophy of the first decade of the new century. Gaus’s command of the relevant literature in philosophy, economics, psychology, and elsewhere is daunting, and his ability to orchestrate a sustained argument leading from foundational postulates of the logic of practical reason to prescriptions for effective politics is altogether masterful."
Loren Lomasky, University of Virginia
 

ISBN: 9781107668058