Reconstructing Public Reason. By Eric MacGilvray. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 2004. 266p. $45.00.
Eric MacGilvray imaginatively puts philosophical pragmatism to work on
the problems of “political justification”—that is,
questions about “how we decide, or ought to decide, which ends to
pursue as a political community” (p. 2). Above all, he seeks to make
pragmatism a part of the engagement of contemporary political theorists
with a familiar, vexing question posed in its most well known form by John
Rawls: “How is it possible for there to exist over time a just and
stable society of free and equal citizens, who remain profoundly divided
by reasonable religious, philosophical, and moral doctrines?”
(Political Liberalism 1993, p. 4).