Justice and justification

Harvey Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Is good reasoning in the moral domain different from its counterpart in non-moral domains? What counts as a good moral argument, or a valid moral assertion or claim? What does ‘validity’ mean in the moral realm? Lots of ink has been spilled on these and related questions in the past few decades, but not much has been settled. In what follows I will spill a little more, this time with the hope that bringing epistemic concerns directly to bear on them might shed some light. A particular focus will be Jürgen Habermas’ discourse ethics and its conceptions of communicative rationality and ideal discourse. I will try to show that Habermas and some of his defenders in the philosophy of education literature fail to get the epistemology right and, as a result, both their defenses of Habermasian communicative rationality and critiques of non-Habermasian alternatives fail as well. I will also argue that these epistemic failures do not threaten their Habermas-based educational recommendations, which can be justified on other, more straightforwardly moral, grounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-329
Number of pages22
JournalTheory and Research in Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Dialogicality
  • Habermas
  • discourse ethics
  • educational justice
  • epistemic criteria
  • justification
  • moral epistemology
  • virtue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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