Published online by Cambridge University Press: 04 November 2021
The well-ordered society, according to John Rawls, is one that is regulated by principles of justice and in which everyone accepts these principles. One understanding of publicity takes this latter requirement a step further. According to Rawls, not only must everyone in the well-ordered society accept the same theory of justice, but publicity demands that everyone know that everyone else accepts this theory. Citizens’ beliefs about morality and justice must be transparent to one another. I examine this understanding of publicity in the current chapter. Why insist on such a requirement? I argue that the main reason has to do with social unity. If social unity in a diverse liberal order is to be achieved, then we must know what our fellow citizens believe about justice. The problem is that generating the knowledge required by this understanding of publicity is riddled with difficulties. I propose some mechanisms that might be capable of getting the job done. These mechanisms are, however, deeply imperfect.