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KANT’S TOUCHSTONE OF COMMUNICATION AND THE PUBLIC USE OF REASON

Lawrence PASTERNACK


Abstract. Nearly all of the work that has been done on Kant’s conception of public reason has focused on its socio-political significance. John Rawls, Onora O’Neill and others have explored its relevance to a well ordered democracy, to pluralism, to toleration, and so on. However, the relevance of public reason for Kant is not limited to the socio-political. Kant repeatedly appeals to the “touchstone of communication” in relation to the normative side of his epistemology. The purpose of this paper is to articulate why Kant regards communication as vital to our theoretical endeavors.

Keywords: Kant, Epistemology, Communication, Prejudice, Error, Public Reason, Touchstone

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