A Pragmatist Approach to Religious Lawmaking

Lucinda Peach

in Legislating Morality

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780195143713
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786053 | DOI:
 A Pragmatist Approach to Religious Lawmaking

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This chapter presents a strategy that can protect the constitutional rights and interests of all parties better than either the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence or the liberal or communitarian approaches. The strategy is based on the philosopher George Herbert Mead’s theory of the social self. Mead’s ideas on the socially constructed character of the self and the special requirements of role-based morality provide a model for understanding that lawmakers, as public officials, are both practically able and morally obligated to take the attitudes of all of their constituents into account in their public policy making. In a culturally and religiously diverse society, this requires lawmakers to support their policy decisions with publicly accessible rationales.

Keywords: religious lawmaking; George Herbert Mead; social self; role-based morality

Chapter.  8948 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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