Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Audi on separation of church and state

Andrew Koppelman

"Citizens in a democracy have a prima facie obligation not to advocate or support any law or public policy that restricts human conduct, unless they have, and are willing to offer, adequate secular reason for this advocacy or support (e.g., for a vote)." (Robert Audi, Democratic Authority and the Separation of Church and State, 65-66) This "principle of secular rationale" articulates a widely shared intuition. Audi has done a great service by offering a sophisticated yet concise philosophical defense of it. His new book summarizes, in 155 small pages of text, arguments he has been developing for more than 20 years. It is engagingly written and easy to read, with the analytic clarity that is Audi's great strength. In the end, however, the argument is unpersuasive.

I've just reviewed the book for Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. You can find the review here.

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