`The author has provided us with a masterful overview and critique of liberal theorizing of the past quarter-century. While dealing exhaustively and fairly with each of a variety of broadly liberal approaches, Gaus also presents a compelling argument for his own preferred "justificatory" approach. His analyses range across familiar territory - Berlin, Gauthier, Baier, Habermas, social choice theory, Rawls, and so on - and are always illuminating and, taken together, provide both the newcomer and the old-hand much to ponder' - Fred D'Agostino, University of New England, Armidale `[A]ll that man is and all that raises him above animals he owes to his reason' - Ludwig von Mises Contemporary Theories of Liberalism provides students with a comprehensive overview of the key tenets of liberalism developed through Hobbes, Locke, Kant and Rawls to present day theories and debates. Central to recent debate has been the idea of public reason. The text introduces and explores seven dominant theories of public reason, namely, pluralism, Neo-Hobbesianism, pragmatism, deliberative democracy, political democracy, Rawlsian political liberalism and justificatory liberalism. As a proponent of justificatory liberalism, Gaus presents an accessible and critical analysis of all contempoary liberal political theory and powerfully illustrates the distinct and importsant contribution of justificatory liberalism. Contemporary Theories of Liberalism is essential reading for students and academics seeking a deeper understanding of liberal political theory today.

Deliberative Democracy: Public Reason and Political Consensus
Deliberative democracy: Public reason and political consensus
Habermas: Discourse and Democracy
Limiting the Area of Intersubjective Agreement

The previous chapter examined a radical proposal — that all reason is social reason insofar as all thinking requires some sort of intersubjective agreement on ‘how to go on’ with rules. In an important sense, to think correctly is to think as others do. This, we saw, appears to dissolve the post-Enlightenment liberal's problem — how can we justify shared political principles in a deeply pluralistic world? — by undermining the basis of much reasonable disagreement. But surely people are ...

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