Tag Archives: Justice

How to distinguish public and non-public reasons?

Jaffro, L. (2020). Comment distinguer raisons publiques et raisons non publiques? The Tocqueville Review., 41(1), 41-53. https://doi.org/10.3138/ttr.41.1.41

The paper discusses the distinction between two kinds of reasons, public and non-public, which plays a major role in the way John Rawls sought to respond to communitarian criticisms, and which Catherine Audard revisits to advocate a political philosophy that confronts what she calls cultural fragmentation. Should public reasons be conceived as being of an argumentative nature, quite different from that of non-public reasons? Or should we consider that the difference is primarily between their objects, and contrast the adoption of a policy or line of conduct with beliefs and valuations that may also respond to reasons?

Psychological and Political Balances: The Third Earl of Shaftesbury’s Reading of James Harrington

L. Jaffro (2018). Psychological and Political Balances: The Third Earl of Shaftesbury’s Reading of James Harrington. In P. Müller (ed.), Shaping Enlightenment Politics. The Social and Political Impact of the First and Third Earls of Shaftesbury. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 149-162.

The chapter investigates why James Harrington’s vocabulary, especially that of ‘balance’ and of ‘interest’, pervades Shaftesbury’s psychological discourse in Characteristicks. It turns out that the Earl’s discreet use of Harrington was not simply a conniving glance at fellow Old Whigs, unhappy with the conversion of Country to Tory, but that it included broader concerns in terms of a philosophical as well as political agenda. Shaftesbury was sensitive to the way in which Harrington revived the ancient analogy between political constitution and the human soul, constitutional balance and psychological temper, thus reconnecting the question of political justice with that of justice in the individual.