Home » Public Reason: Mediated Authority In The Liberal State by Fred M. Frohock
Public Reason: Mediated Authority In The Liberal State Fred M. Frohock

Public Reason: Mediated Authority In The Liberal State

Fred M. Frohock

Published November 1st 1999
ISBN : 9780801436772
Hardcover
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 About the Book 

In this meditation on the different ways in which contemporary society construes the notion of political reason, Fred M. Frohock offers an alternative to the merit forms of reasoning prominent in liberal democracies. He argues that divisive issuesMoreIn this meditation on the different ways in which contemporary society construes the notion of political reason, Fred M. Frohock offers an alternative to the merit forms of reasoning prominent in liberal democracies. He argues that divisive issues such as abortion and physician-assisted suicide resist rational closure: reasonable individuals often reach different and contradictory conclusions. The temptation is to abandon reason and depict governing as an exercise of pure power. What resources do we have, Frohock asks, to develop a version of public reason which can succeed even in the deep pluralism anticipated in democratic practices? Frohock makes a provocative argument: the effects of divisive beliefs can be mitigated with a version of public reason defined as mediated speech acts. These acts are dialogues on the model of a guided conversation in which collective terms dominate simple merit adjudication. This type of public reasoning requires a survey of considerations beyond the merits of the case at hand. Frohocks book combines theory and illustrative cases to present an unusually broad survey of public reasoning in which abstract arguments are developed in the context of highly charged contemporary issues.