Kevin Vallier writes this in response to my recent posts. Gonna post the whole thing. Emphasis added.
I appreciate Vallier's patience with me, and I want to note that what I like about Vallier's work is that he's genuinely trying to make the project work. Some public reason liberals weaponize the theory to dismiss others without argument. Vallier is actually trying to make the theory inclusive.
But that said, I don't think he's taking the criticisms seriously, or he seems to miss the point. As you can see above, public reason liberals can conceive of themselves as being like negotiators or therapists trying to solve conflicts. Of course they can. But so can fascists, utilitarians, deontological liberals, deontological libertarians, consequentialist virtue theorists, and so on, also care about cooperation and resolving conflicts and also offer theories about how to to do so. Just like the public reason liberals, they can accept that reasonable people disagree, and can offer various kinds of principles for compromising. Just like the public reason liberals, they can be more inclusive or more exclusionary. They can load up their principles or have less restricted versions of them.
There is indeed nothing dumb about what the public reason liberal is trying to do in the abstract. What's mean about public reason liberals is that they incorrectly and unfairly think they're the only ones trying to do it. Everyone is trying to do it. And, just as public reason liberals try to get compromise by getting everyone to agree to their preferred set of values, that's what utilitarians and others do. It's nothing special. It's simply another parochial theory, and its theory of compromise and dispute resolution is simply another parochial theory like everyone else's.
Indeed, I'm worried public reason liberalism is especially bad when it comes to this stuff. Imagine you and your spouse have very serious substantive complaints. Or imagine you and the warring enemy have serious and substantive complaints. What you'd want is a negotiator or therapist who addresses and resolves these complaints. You wouldn't someone who just shouts out big concepts like "compromise", "reasonable", "fair", "cooperative", "reciprocate!" and whatnot, and then tells you you're behaving badly if you don't then accept the therapist's or negotiators' preferred solution. (I'm borrowing the ideas in this last paragraph from someone else who might not want me to post their name here.)
Further, with the marriage example, what if there is actually a true answer to how to raise the kids? Or spend the money? For example, your spouse says he doesn't want to permit your gay son to date other boys. You think he's a homophobic bigot. What should you do? Well, your spouse is wrong and acting badly, so he should concede your side entirely. The compromise should be: you win and he loses.
Same with war: If you are not fighting a just war, stop fighting. It's that easy. As for uncertainty, that;'s easy too: You should not kill people unless you are very sure they have it coming, etc. If you think you might be justified, you almost certainly aren't. Pessimistic induction, after all.