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The basis of liberal democracy: Political not moral? Some critical remarks on Habermas's Principle D

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The basis of liberal democracy: Political not moral? Some critical remarks on Habermas's Principle D

The dilemma of liberal democracies in the domain of ethical and religious pluralism can be stated as follows: is it possible to define the principles grounding liberal democracy so that they can justify legitimacy and political obligation, without being dependent on particular moral contents?
Habermas’s proposal of Principle D is the most ambitious and promising solution to this dilemma of pluralism. It relies strongly on the non-moral character of principle D. But can this point be maintained without contradiction? The article tries to develop the thesis that it is impossible to conceive D as practical, normative and non-moral, as Habermas argues, because: (1) this interpretation generates contradictions within the theory itself; (2) D contains implicitly a reference to the moral point of view, otherwise it couldn’t assure an equal consideration of participants; (3) it is probably impossible, in general, to treat persons as equal without treating them as moral persons.

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Abstracts

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Biographical notes

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Editoriale. Liberalismo 2.0?

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Liberalism, nationalism, and post-Brexit Europe

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Liberalism, nationalism, and post-Brexit Europe

This paper links the recent Brexit vote to Faragism, a political ideology that equates national sovereignty with effective political control – control over immigration, in particular. The paper exposes the incoherence of the Faragist claim that a sovereign Britain would have more control over its affairs than Britain now has as a member of the EU. The paper further argues that the form of Brexit that Faragists advocate – so-called “Hard Brexit” – is not only undesirable but unjust. The paper concludes with a defense of European Citizenship, which should be extended to all British
nationals as a means of reconnecting them to the European project of integration.

Abstract

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