Monthly Archives: September 2008

PPPS: “The Roles of Religious Conviction in a Publicly Justified Polity”

Hi everyone. My name is Kevin Vallier. I’m a fourth year graduate student at the University of Arizona. My primary work is in political philosophy, but I have strong interests in ethics, philosophy of economics and philosophy of religion. I’m currently writing my dissertation. In short, I’m attempting to give a justificatory liberal account of the role of religion in politics. The article I’m reading to you in many ways form the template for my dissertation.

I of course wrote this article with my dissertation advisor and world-class political philosopher Jerry Gaus. The article was originally an invitation to Jerry to write an article that would be part of a symposium on public reason and religion in Philosophy and Social Criticism. Jerry and I had been talking about these issues for nearly a year, so he was magnanimous enough to invite me to be a co-author.


Posted in Articles, Podcast, Posts, Symposia | 29 Comments

PPPS: “What Immigrants Owe Society”

The paper evolved as a side project to my doctoral dissertation on the theoretical and practical factors factors that ought to determine a just immigration policy. I was reading an article in the New York Times on immigration in Europe and was struck by some remarks made Nyamko Sabuni, Swedish minister for integration and gender equality:

A lot of people misread their rights,” [Sabuni] said recently. “They think that freedom of religion means they can do anything in the name of religion, or that human rights mean that they can act however they want against others.” Not true, she said. “If they want to live here, have kids, have grandchildren, they must make an effort to adapt to the society where they live.”


Posted in Podcast, Posts, Symposia | 3 Comments

Berlin in Durham

Durham University: 14-15 November 2008

The School of Government and International Affairs at Durham is hosting a workshop on “50 Years Since Isaiah Berlin’s Lecture `Two Concepts of Liberty'” on 14-15 November 2008. Speakers include Diana Coole (Birkbeck), George Crowder (Flinders), Katrin Flikschuh (LSE), and Andrew Vincent (Sheffield). Register here.

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Political Philosophy Podcast Symposium Schedule

I’m very happy to announce that the Fall 2008 Political Philosophy Podcast Symposium will commence this Friday. Each week, for the next ten weeks of the semester, we will have a paper podcasted on the site along with comments from a responder. The ten papers were chosen from a number of submitted abstracts through a process of blind review by four members of the website.

Part of the purpose of the symposium is to create a forum in which political philosophers around the world can attend and participate in a weekly political philosophy talk, albeit virtually. The authors have been asked to podcast their papers as a way to approximate the conditions of an in-person talk as closely as possible. Each post will contain an mp3 audio file, a pdf document of the paper, as well as a pdf document containing the responder’s comments. Thus, it will be possible to read the paper as the speaker is talking through it.

We hope to have more such symposia in the future. There is no reason why political philosophers should not be able to listen and respond to a quality political philosophy talk every week. Naturally, we are not audio experts, so we may not quite sound like a professional radio station as we proceed. But we should be able to work out problems and make improvements as we gain experience with the medium. All suggestions for improvement are welcome.

You can listen to the podcasts, either directly at the site, or by downloading them through iTunes. You can subscribe to Public Reason podcasts on iTunes by following this link. This way you can download the audio files to your mp3 player and listen to the talks in your car, train, favourite coffee shop, etc. (Whilst you are at it, you can also subscribe to Public Ethics Radio and Ethics Bites.)

This semester’s schedule is over the fold:

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We’re busy finalising the details for the podcast symposium, which will start next week, for those who have inquired. We’re just sorting out the last couple of people to comment on papers. We’ve got a great bunch of papers coming which you’ll be able to access both on the site and via an iTunes subscription.

We’ll also be holding an Estlund-style reading group on Corey Brettschneider’s Democratic Rights starting in a couple of weeks. More on that in due course. If you’d like to organise a reading group on a book of general interest in political theory/philosophy in 2009, please do not wait for an invitation.


Posted in Housekeeping, Notices | Leave a comment

2009 Berger Prize

Public Reason member David Reidy, with co-author Jeppe von Platz, has been awarded the 2009 Berger Prize by the APA Committee on Law and Philosophy for “The Structural Variety of Historical Injustices,” Journal of Social Philosophy, v. 37.3, pgs. 360-376, 2006. Reidy worked with von Platz on the paper while the latter was a graduate student at Tennessee. von Platz is now completing his Ph.D. at Penn. The paper will be discussed at a special session of the APA Pacific Division Meeting in the spring. Criticisms of or reactions to the paper are welcome (send to dreidy[at], as preparation for the spring session will no doubt require some rethinking. (For those interested in historical injustice and reparations, the JSP issue in which this paper appears is an excellent special issue devoted to the topic and edited by Kok-Chor Tan and Rahul Kumar.)


Posted in Articles, Awards, Notices | 1 Comment