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The pragmatic political liberal in my conception approaches the political realm as an arena within which the boundaries of reasonableness, and thus of legitimate state action, are worked out through public inquiry over time. I therefore hold that the political liberal claim that public policies must be publicly justified does not mean that the policies in question must be shown to be immune to reasonable disagreement, but rather that they be shown to be reasonable candidates for public inquiry. While I have doubts about the attractiveness and viability of ‘Deweyan’ democracy as a political program, I think that it is a reasonable candidate for public action in this sense.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Political Science, Ohio State University, 2140 Derby Hall, 154 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA., Email:

Publication date: February 1, 2010


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