The International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU will host a lecture by Dean Brett Scharffs, “Can Public Reason Accommodate Conscience?”, on Wednesday, September 4, 2013:

Public reason as a framework for political dialogue has come to have a force in American and European political thought that might have come as a surprise even to its most articulate contemporary defender, John Rawls. But as religious and other minority or dissenting voices are increasingly pushed to the margins of public discourse, a serious philosophical, political, and practical question has arisen about the extent to which public reason can accommodate claims of conscience.  The basic problem can be presented starkly:  if public reason rules inadmissible reasons that are not publicly accessible, is there any reason to respect conscience at all, since by its very nature the claims of conscience may be private and only partially accessible or explicable?  If public reason reigns supreme as a model of public discourse, are claims of conscience doomed?

A live Web broadcast will be available. Details are here.

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