| Workshop: Respect and Public Justification (Darmstadt)

10. November 2011, Thiel

Am zweiten Dezember findet in Darmstadt ein Workshop zu „Respect and Public Justification“ statt. Konkret geht es um die unterschiedliche Begründungen und Modi von Rechtfertigungsprozessen und diese werden an den zentralen Autoren der Debatte Gerald Gaus und Rainer Forst erörtert. Beide werden eine Keynote halten, bevor in zwei Panels dann nochmal vertiefend auf Konzeptionen und Begründungen eingegangen wird. Die Anmeldung (an: Martina Dingeldein ( ist kostenfrei, aber notwendig, da es nur begrenzt Plätze gibt. Alle Infos nach dem Strich:


Respect and Public Justification.

A workshop with Gerald Gaus and Rainer Forst

Technical University of Darmstadt

December 2nd 2011

In a tradition that goes back to Kant, equal respect for persons requires – among other things – justifying our moral demands on them. Rainer Forst argues that this entails a fundamental right to justification and a correlative duty to justify all our morally relevant actions. This leads Forst to defend a discourse theory of justice and a deliberative model of democracy. From a liberal perspective, Gerald Gaus interprets the Kantian ideal of respect as a commitment to justify a collectively binding system of social morality to free and equal moral agents. In particular, the coercive authority of the state must be publicly justified insofar as it results in limitations on freedom.

These different starting points reflect on how Forst and Gaus interpret the aim and scope of public justification and understand related questions, such as the nature of reasonable pluralism, the relationship between public and private autonomy and the limits of democratic authority. This workshop is designed to address and discuss these and related themes emerging from the works of Rainer Forst and Gerald Gaus.


For workshop registration please contact Ms Martina Dingeldein ( by November 15th 2011. There is no fee but places are limited and registration is required.



December 2nd 2011


10:00 Intruduction: Prof. Peter Niesen (TU Darmstadt)

10:15 Keynote address: Prof. Gerald Gaus (University of Arizona): Conception Dependent Commitments and the Public Justification Principle.


11:30 Coffee Break

11:45 Keynote address: Prof. Rainer Forst (University of Frankfurt am Main): The Right to Justification and the Idea of Public Reason.


13:00 Lunch

14:15 Section 1

Chair: Enrico Zoffoli (TU Darmstadt)

Dr. Jonathan Quong (The University of Manchester): What is the Point of Public Reason?

Dr. Maria Paola Ferretti (TU Darmstadt): Pluralism and the Limits of Human Reason.


15:45 Coffee Break

16:00 Section 2

Chair: Dr. Chiara Testino (University of Eastern Piedmont).

Prof. Steffen Ganghof (University of Potsdam): Public Reason and Democracy.

Dr. Emanuela Ceva (University of Pavia): Respect and Justification through Participation.


17:30 Conferene ends

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