ARE WE POST-JUSTIFICATION? STOUT’S CASE FOR SELF-KNOWLEDGE, POLITICAL JUSTIFICATION AND PUBLIC PHILOSOPHY

  • Deven Burks University of Luxembourg.
Keywords: self-knowledge, political justification, public philosophy, public discourse, Jeffrey Stout

Abstract

Must the participant to public discourse have knowledge of her beliefs, attitudes and reasons as well as belief-formation processes to have justified political belief? In this paper, we test this question with reference to Jeffrey Stout’s (2004) approach to public discourse and public philosophy. After defining self-knowledge and justification along the lines of James Pryor (2004), we map thereon Stout’s view of public discourse and public philosophy as democratic piety, earnest storytelling and Brandomian expressive rationality. We then lay out Brian Leiter’s (2016) naturalistic critique of public philosophy as “discursive hygiene” to see whether Stoutian public philosophy survives the former’s emotivist-tribalist gauntlet. Lastly, we find that Leiter’s critique proves less radical than it may appear and requires the moderating influence of a public philosophy like Stout’s. All in all, Stoutian public discourse and public philosophy powerfully illustrates a strong, necessary connection between self-knowledge and political justification. Post-truth is not post-justification.

Published
2018-05-14
Section
8TH BRAGA MEETINGS ON ETHICS AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY, WITH GUSTAF ARRHENIUS