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The role of public reason is not so much to eliminate or even diminish political disagreement, as it is to provide democratic citizens with reasons and arguments that, if valid and sound, they can accept as democratic citizens. Were laws and policies are decided for purely nonpublic reasons, it could not be said that democratic citizens are politically free. Their political power is being used against their will in ways they cannot endorse as citizens. Public reason then is a condition of political autonomy and collective self-rule.

* Samuel Freeman, “Deliberative Democracy: A Sympathetic Comment”