The politics of truth: A critique of Peircean deliberative democracy

Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (9):1075-1091 (2010)
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Abstract

Recent discussion in democratic theory has seen a revival of interest in pragmatism. Drawing on the work of C. S. Peirce, Cheryl Misak and Robert Talisse have argued that a form of deliberative democracy is justified as the means for citizens to assure themselves of the truth of their beliefs. In this article, I suggest that the Peircean account of deliberative democracy is conceived too narrowly. It takes its force from seeing citizens as intellectual inquirers, something that I argue is both problematic in itself and relies on a controversial understanding of truth and inquiry. The article goes on to propose reasons for favouring a Deweyan rather than a Peircean account of democracy, one in which deliberation is seen not simply as a matter of arriving at the truth, but as part of a broader view of human flourishing.

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Michael Bacon
Royal Holloway University of London

Citations of this work

Spotlight: Pragmatism in contemporary political theory.Matthew Festenstein - 2023 - European Journal of Political Theory 22 (4):629-646.
Democratic epistemology and democratic morality: the appeal and challenges of Peircean pragmatism.Annabelle Lever & Clayton Chin - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (4):432-453.
Democratic epistemology and democratic morality: the appeal and challenges of Peircean pragmatism.Annabelle Lever & Clayton Chin - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (4):432-453.
Toward a New Pragmatist Politics.Robert B. Talisse - 2011 - Metaphilosophy 42 (5):552-571.

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References found in this work

The Fixation of Belief.C. S. Peirce - 1877 - Popular Science Monthly 12 (1):1-15.
Some Consequences of Four Incapacities.Charles S. Peirce - 2011 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 12-36.
Theory of Valuation.John Dewey - 1939 - Philosophy of Science 6 (4):490-491.
A Reconsideration of Deweyan Democracy.Hilary Putnam - 2011 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 331-352.
Deliberative Democracy and Two Models of Pragmatism.Matthew Festenstein - 2004 - European Journal of Social Theory 7 (3):291-306.

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