*The Order of Public Reason*

That is the title, the author is Gerald Gaus of U. Arizona, and the subtitle is A Theory of Freedom and Morality in a Diverse and Bounded World.  This is a big and ambitious work, broadly in the liberaltarian tradition, mixing Rawls and Hayek, pondering the implications of disagreement, and experimenting with the idea that morality itself has a coercive element.  It is Gaus's attempt to lay out the proper foundations for a liberal society and he summarizes the hard-to-summarize book a bit here.

Also new on the market is Ronald Dworkin's Justice for Hedgehogs.  I like the title and I like most of his previous books, but I am not finding this one rewarding to read.  Here is one previous debate on related material.


The liberaltarian "TRADITION." Surely you are joking Tyler.

morality itself has a coercive element.

It's not "morality", but law/ rules that have a coercive element. Law is usually based on morality, but the difference is, exactly, in the enforcement issue. The rule of law is, basically, those laws/rules which are enforced. Whether it is the enforcement of tax laws ONLY against those (all guilty) Russian oligarchs against Putin; or of speeding tickets for more than 10 mph above the limit (unless the guilty is a cop); or even for not paying back a loan shark promise, as Rocky Balboa was enforcing.

The enforcement of rules by others is coercive.

Justice is not fundamental, it is the system that is used to punish an injustice. Without injustices, no justice system is needed, nor used.

It's a bit sad that so few people listed Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia as one of their most influential books. I thought it was great. But haven't yet read his (own anti-Rawls?) against distributive justice.
With so many blogs to read (and comment on!), I've no time now to read such books.

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