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The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse - Steven D. Smith
The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse
by: (author)
4.00 10
Prominent observers complain that public discourse in America is shallow and unedifying. This debased condition is often attributed to, among other things, the resurgence of religion in public life. Steven Smith argues that this diagnosis has the matter backwards: it is not primarily religion but... show more
Prominent observers complain that public discourse in America is shallow and unedifying. This debased condition is often attributed to, among other things, the resurgence of religion in public life. Steven Smith argues that this diagnosis has the matter backwards: it is not primarily religion but rather the strictures of secular rationalism that have drained our modern discourse of force and authenticity. Thus, Rawlsian “public reason” filters appeals to religion or other “comprehensive doctrines” out of public deliberation. But these restrictions have the effect of excluding our deepest normative commitments, virtually assuring that the discourse will be shallow. Furthermore, because we cannot defend our normative positions without resorting to convictions that secular discourse deems inadmissible, we are frequently forced to smuggle in those convictions under the guise of benign notions such as freedom or equality. Smith suggests that this sort of smuggling is pervasive in modern secular discourse. He shows this by considering a series of controversial, contemporary issues, including the Supreme Court’s assisted-suicide decisions, the “harm principle,” separation of church and state, and freedom of conscience. He concludes by suggesting that it is possible and desirable to free public discourse of the constraints associated with secularism and “public reason.”
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9780674050877 (0674050878)
ASIN: 0674050878
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English
Category:
Politics, Philosophy
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Community Reviews
So Many Books, So Little Time...
So Many Books, So Little Time... rated it
4.0 Excellent Analysis of the Public Square
The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse, by Steven D. Smith ****In the wake of last year's election, it appears that discourse in the public square is breaking down completely. Invective and name calling have become the rules of the day I cannot imagine a more propitious time to read Steven Smith’s...
So Many Books, So Little Time...
So Many Books, So Little Time... rated it
4.0 The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse
The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse, by Steven D. Smith **** In the wake of the Tucson shootings we have all heard a lot about civility in the public arena. Fingers have been pointed and blame assigned, one group claiming that vitriolic rhetoric is the root cause, another pointing to the shoot...
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