Public reason theorists create models for assessing whether everyone within a diverse community can see the social structure as reflecting and instantiating their values. Good public reason theory has a deeply interdisciplinary character, however the field has traditionally focused a lot on engagement with economics, rational choice theory, and only a limited range of work in psychology. Here we discuss an attempt to create a novel model of public reason which uses accounts of people and their reasons drawn instead from the psychotherapeutic literature. The point is to gain a very different perspective on questions of reason and justification, hopefully gaining traction on some long-running disputes and perhaps overturning some long-running orthodoxies.

Our particular focus in this session is on the intersubjective way in which psychotherapists understand the development of our values. People not only develop their values through intimate interaction with others, but this interaction is also necessary for an ongoing understanding of one’s values (with consequences, presumably, for the reasons which can be appealed to in public reason theory). We look to the women's friendship literature for an account of the importance of relationships in the social world, and some possible consequences of this for what sort of society we want to live in.



01-E301 Forgan Smith, St Lucia Campus (or via zoom) please email for zoom link.