Date of Award

8-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew I. Cohen

Second Advisor

Dr. Peter Lindsay

Abstract

I argue that both major approaches to public reason liberalism include duties of restraint for legislators. Consensus views require exclusion of non-public reasons, and convergence requires proposal restraint. Violations of these duties create due diligence duties of moral repair, which require the wrongdoer to make a genuine and reasonable effort to normalize moral relations with those wronged. I argue that apology is one favorable route for moral repair. However, it is difficult to assess the sincerity of apologies, so they often need supplemented with other morally compensatory actions. I defend the view that, on consensus accounts, legislators must provide a renewed defense of their positions in terms of public reasons, and, on convergence accounts, legislators must retract their support for positions that violate convergent restraint.

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