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2022-23 Colloquium: The Reasons We Cannot Share
April 21, 2023 | 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM PT
Royce Hall 243 (and Zoom)
Zoom link: https://ucla.zoom.us/j/98234276234?pwd=ZkpiMFNCSjFvSVNoK1FpWFBJWjkzQT09
Join us on April 21, 2023 for a colloquium with Kyla Ebels Duggan, Northwestern University. The talk will take place in Royce Hall Room 243 from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM with a reception on the 3rd floor Royce Patio to follow.
The Reasons We Cannot Share
According to political liberals, a pluralist society should leave each person free to pursue their own conception of the good, but individuals should bracket these values when engaging in political reasoning with one another. When reasoning about the basic institutions and fundamental laws that govern the society, each person should appeal only to so-called public reasons. Public reasons are considerations that everyone (or at least all reasonable people) can see as reasons, reasons that we can all share.
In the first several sections of the paper, I explore the ways in which we can and cannot give one another reasons and share reasons that we have. I compare and contrast the possibilities with respect to reasons for believing, reasons for valuing, and reasons for acting. I then use these distinctions to support the claim that the liberal ideal for relating to others does not require, and in fact cannot be realized by, limiting our political reasoning to appeals to shared reasons. Instead, I’ll suggest, it requires regarding others as giving us new reasons to act by valuing and choosing what they do. When I regard you this way, I act on reasons that are necessarily different from those on which you act—reasons that we cannot share.
Kyla Ebels-Duggan is Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. She specializes in moral and political philosophy and their history, working in a broadly Kantian tradition. Her work has appeared in Ethics, The Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies and Philosophers’ Imprint. She is completing a book on valuing attitudes and starting a book on Iris Murdoch’s moral philosophy.