`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.

Political Democracy: Public Reason Through Aggregation
Political democracy: Public reason through aggregation
Aggregative Democracy
Deliberative and Aggregative Democracy

In the last chapter we examined ‘deliberative democracy’, according to which discourse among citizens induces convergence in their political judgments. As Jon Elster has famously described it, the deliberative view conceives of democracy as a ‘forum’ in which ‘preferences’ (or judgments) are transformed through public reasoning: as we reason with each other, and respond to each other's arguments, unacceptably biased or unreasonable views give way to those that can form the basis of a public consen-sus.1 The problem, I argued, is that a commitment to sincere reasoning often, perhaps typically, prevents us from ...

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