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Applying Reflective Equilibrium

Towards the Justification of a Precautionary Principle

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2022

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  • First detailed and explicit application of a comprehensive account of the method of reflective equilibrium
  • Groundbreaking work on the justification of moral principles such as the precautionary principle
  • Provides a methodological framework for researchers who want to apply RE
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

Part of the book series: Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning (LARI, volume 27)

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About this book

This open access book provides the first explicit case study for an application of the method of reflective equilibrium (RE), using it to develop and defend a precautionary principle. It thereby makes an important and original contribution to questions of philosophical method and methodology. The book shows step-by-step how RE is applied, and develops a methodological framework which will be useful for everyone who wishes to use reflective equilibrium. With respect to precautionary principles, the book demonstrates how a rights-based precautionary principle can be constructed and defended.

The case study succeeds in demonstrating that RE can be successfully applied and puts real constraints on the justification process. This is all the more remarkable as the case study was designed as an open-ended process, without presupposing any specific results. This book will be highly relevant both to people interested in philosophical methodology and epistemology, as well as to researchers who are interested in using philosophical methods and tools and applying them to practical problems.

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Table of contents (9 chapters)


“Rechnitzer’s ambitious book carefully traces an application of reflective equilibrium (RE) to advance a novel justification of a precautionary principle. In doing so she provides a means for assessing RE as a (philosophical) procedure.” (Bert Baumgaertner, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, January 28, 2023)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Institute of Philosophy, Leibniz University Hannover, Hannover, Germany

    Tanja Rechnitzer

About the author

Tanja Rechnitzer is a philosopher working at the intersection of practical and theoretical philosophy. She is especially interested in how we can make philosophical methods and tools fruitful for practical problems – but also in what we can learn from such practical applications on a theoretical level. Rechnitzer is currently an assistant professor at the Leibniz University Hannover, Germany.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Applying Reflective Equilibrium

  • Book Subtitle: Towards the Justification of a Precautionary Principle

  • Authors: Tanja Rechnitzer

  • Series Title: Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Religion and Philosophy, Philosophy and Religion (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2022

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-04332-1Published: 02 July 2022

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-04335-2Published: 02 July 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-04333-8Published: 01 July 2022

  • Series ISSN: 2214-9120

  • Series E-ISSN: 2214-9139

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XI, 273

  • Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Epistemology, Ethics, Philosophy of Nature

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