Patricia Marino



It is my pleasure to comment on Nelson Tebbe’s deep and engaging book. In addition to its careful legal analysis, Religious Freedom in an Egalitarian Age bears on important philosophical issues concerning values, moral reasoning and the justification of evaluative beliefs. I find these issues especially interesting because I’ve engaged with some of them myself. Methodologically, Religious Freedom in an Egalitarian Age makes use of a concept of social coherence, and my work also considers questions of how coherence functions in evaluative contexts. What does it mean for our value judgments to fit together in an appropriate way? How can we use coherence to discover and justify evaluative beliefs? How is coherence related to agreement and disagreement, and what are the limits of coherence approaches? In my recent book, I consider these questions from a point of view that focuses specifically on moral judgments, and I argue for a perspective on “moral coherence” that has much in common with the “social coherence” model Professor Tebbe outlines. In this comment, I want to explore the ways in which that perspective both does and does not fit with the one Professor Tebbe develops throughout his legal analysis.



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