This paper aims to question the idea of reasonableness in Rawls’ account of politicalliberalism. My point is that reasonableness as the moral basis of the liberal societyprovides restrictions for differences – be they philosophical, moral, religious, cultural – tobe included in the liberal society. Notwithstanding Rawls’ attempt to expand politicalboundaries and to include those people who do not share moral liberal justification tojustice as fairness, reasonableness selects “values holders” and assigns to the so-called“reasonable” a place in the political debate. The others, the “unreasonable”, are expectedto become reasonable; alternatively, they would be paid control or even coercion in all thecircumstances in which they should represent a risk for political stability. I believe thatRawls gives an incomplete account of unreasonableness: there may well be persons whoare not “reasonable” in Rawlsian terms but who do not necessarily represent a dangerfor the just society. By the fact that they do not endorse values as freedom and equalityin which fair cooperation is grounded, we cannot infer that they will necessarily try toviolate the terms around which cooperation is structured by imposing their values onothers. I proceed as follows: a) I detail the Rawlsian political turn in defending justice asfairness; b) I focus on the idea of reasonableness as the core of political liberalism; c) Idefend the thesis that political liberalism needs to revise the idea of unreasonableness if itaims to deal with pluralism as a social and political fact.
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