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Death and Consensus Liberalism


Event Summary


Jeremy Williams

At this event, Jeremy Williams (Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Birmingham) focused on the determination of death in the context of Rawlsian consensus liberalism, which requires that the justification of coercive laws be formulated without reliance on reasonably rejectable claims about the basic nature and value of human survival. Fundamental political problems are not always susceptible to resolution by public deliberation conducted within these constraints. Forbidding democratic engagement between rival comprehensive doctrines can prevent citizens from resolving fundamental problems of justice through the use of reason, and public reason can require picking political arrangements in an intolerably arbitrary way.

This working group was organized as part of the Death: From Philosophy to Medical Practice and the Law project at the Neubauer Collegium.