New Directions in Public Reason

June 15, 2014 - June 17, 2014
University of Birmingham

Edgbaston Room, Lucas House
48 Edgbaston Park Road
Birmingham B15 2RA
United Kingdom


  • Leverhulme Trust
  • Mind Association

All speakers:

Clare Chambers
University of Cambridge
Gerald Gaus
University of Arizona
Andrew Lister
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Stephen Macedo
Princeton University
Fabienne Peter
University of Warwick
Thomas Sinclair
University of Oxford
Kevin Vallier
Bowling Green State University
Steven Wall
University of Arizona


Jeremy Williams
University of Birmingham

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Recent years have seen a flourishing of the philosophical literature on public reason, with a number of new models of public reason being developed, novel arguments in favour of existing models being advanced, and exploration taking place into the implications of the use of public reason for a range of pressing political controversies. At the same time, critics of public reason liberalism have been deploying new objections, and refining familiar ones. This two-day conference, hosted by Birmingham’s Department of Philosophy, aims to address new and emerging themes in the political philosophy of public reason, and features contributions from proponents of a range of key perspectives from the contemporary debate.

The conference is generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust, the Mind Association, the College of Arts and Law at Birmingham, and the Birmingham University Academic Collaboration Fund (North America).


Space for this event is limited, and registration is required. Registration fees have been kept to a minimum, and are £10 for a single day, or £20 for the whole event, including lunch and coffee. To register, please email [email protected] by 9am on Monday 9th June. Please also mention in your email if you would like to attend the conference dinner on the evening of Monday 16th (at an additional cost), or if you would like advice about overnight accommodation options.


Monday 16th June:

10.30 - 12.00: Macedo (‘The Practical Uses of Public Reason in a Diverse Democracy’)

12.00 – 13.00: Lunch

13.00 – 14.30: Vallier (‘Public Reason and Public Choice: A Synthesis’)

14.30 - 14.45: Coffee

14.45 – 16.15: Peter (‘From Objective Reason to Public Reason’)

16.15 – 16.30: Coffee

16.30 – 18.00: Wall (‘Razian Authority and Public Reason’)

18.00: Drinks

19.30: Conference dinner

Tuesday 17th June:

10.30 – 12.00: Lister (‘Toleration, Public Reason, and Community’)

12.00 – 13.00: Lunch

13.00 - 14.30: Sinclair (‘International Public Reason’)

14.30 – 14.45: Coffee

14.45 – 16.15: Chambers (‘Political Liberal Neutrality, Public Reason, and State-Recognised Marriage’)

16.15 – 16.30: Coffee

16.30 – 18.00: Gaus ("Is Public Reason a Normalization Project?: Deep Diversity and the Open Society’)

End of conference

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June 9, 2014, 5:00am BST

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