From this article in The New York Times. Michael, David, and I were making fun of Rawlsian public reason last night in our weekly philosophy discussion group, but then stuff like this comes down the pike, and you think, “Hey, we’re not denying that Rawls was addressing a real problem…”
The zeal to embody the whole truth in politics is incompatible with an idea of public reason that belongs with democratic citizenship.
–John Rawls, “The Idea of Public Reason Revisited,” Collected Papers, p. 574.
Actually, strictly speaking, Rawlsian public reason doesn’t rule out the “conversation” in the video: the strictures of Rawlsian public reason only apply to “government officials and candidates for public office,” and mercifully, none of the parties to this conversation satisfy that description. But the longer you watch, the more plausible epistocracy starts to seem.
“Watch the whole thing,” as they say. Treat it as an exercise in “toleration,” and see how far you get. I mean, hell, it’s not even two hours long.