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Grant number: FT-248538-16

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FT-248538-16

Pablo Fernando Muchnik
Emerson College (Boston, MA 02116-4624)

Rawls and Kant on the Public Use of Reason

A chapter of a book-length study on Kant’s notion of religion and politics.
 

I will use the NEH summer stipend to work on the fourth chapter of my new book, Faith’s Labor Lost: Kant on Religion and Liberal Politics. This book offers a new conceptual framework to deal with religious claims in advanced liberal democracies. The standard strategy is to appeal to some version of John Rawls' "public reason"—a form of argumentation based on fundamental political values and beliefs one’s fellow citizens could not reasonably reject. This approach, however, forces religious citizens to privatize their deepest convictions. To avoid this problem, I will turn to Kant. For, although the notion of public reason has unmistakable Kantian origins, Rawls’ appropriation overlooks the fact that for Kant religion is an eminently public matter and plays an essential role in advancing the emancipatory goals of the Enlightenment. I want to understand the motivations of Rawls’ highly selective reading of Kant’s notion, and evaluate the consequences of such an approach.

Project fields:
Ethics; Philosophy of Religion; Political Theory

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2016 – 9/30/2016