Chapter 7 highlights how addressing public issues publicly is a main target of European institutions, considering their commitment to the identification of shared values and the protection of rights. In consideration of this, it is reasonable to ask whether the "Public Reason" set forth by Rawls can be somehow applied to Europe's current perspective, understanding it to be the ruling criterion governing public issues. A major obstacle is to be found in the anti-pluralistic attitude which is widespread across the European states. However, constitutionalism, which is nowadays widely rooted on a global scale, makes contemporary political commu¬nities to characterize by disagreement and by the need of a new order of liberties, which is essential for the existence of any political community. In such a context, Rawlsian "Public Reason" does not show up as a useful tool, while Habermas' "Discourse Ethics" seems to be more promising, considering its openness to learning evolutionary processes. Nonetheless, this appeal to public reason needs to maintain its practical character, and should not lead to a philosophical or theoretical dispute, in order not to revive the anti-pluralistic and intolerant attitudes of the European cultural tradition. A European public consciousness should stick to two conditions: respecting the varieties of national cultures and distancing itself from the forms of the national state.
Viola, F. (2012). Europe's Path to Public Reason. In J. Ballesteros, Fernández Ruiz-Gálvez E, P. Talavera (a cura di), Globalization and Human Rights. Challenges and Answers from a European Perspective (pp. 159-177). Dordrecht : Springer [10.1007/978-94-007-4020-4].