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Understanding Liberal DemocracyEssays in Political Philosophy$
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Nicholas Wolterstorff and Terence Cuneo

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558957.001.0001

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Exercising One's Political Voice as a Moral Engagement

Exercising One's Political Voice as a Moral Engagement

(p.143) 6 Exercising One's Political Voice as a Moral Engagement
Understanding Liberal Democracy

Nicholas Wolterstorff

Terence Cuneo

Oxford University Press

The central thesis in this essay is that the discussions by public reason liberals of the ethic of citizen suffer from a strange kind of myopia; their attention is focused exclusively on just one form of morally-based democratic political activity: policy deliberation and decision. More narrowly yet, they focus exclusively on the sorts of reasons one ought to employ when engaging in that activity, and on what one should do in case one’s reasons fail to persuade all one’s fellow citizens of one’s position. The aim of this essay is to break the grip of this myopia by describing examples of two other forms of morally-committed democratic political activity, not unusual and obscure ways but ways that we all know about, ways that many of us have personally engaged in: broad-based organizing and movement organizing.

Keywords:   constitutional limits, declaration of Independence, duty of civility, equal voice, Eberle, Christopher, governing idea of liberal democracy, justificatory liberalism, Hertzke, Allen D, idealization, international Religious Freedom Act, public reason liberalism, Rawls, John, reasonable, Stout, Jeffrey

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