Res Publica 16 (1):23-40 (2010)

It is common to interpret Kant’s idea of public reason and the Enlightenment motto to ‘think for oneself’ as incompatible with the view that testimony and judgement of credibility is essential to rational public deliberation. Such interpretations have led to criticism of contemporary Kantian approaches to deliberative democracy for being intellectualistic, and for not considering our epistemic dependence on other people adequately. In this article, I argue that such criticism is insufficiently substantiated, and that Kant’s idea of public reason is neither at odds with deference to a certain kind of authority, nor with making judgements of character in rational deliberation. This view is corroborated by recent work on Kant’s epistemology of testimony.
Keywords Authority  Deliberative democracy  Expert knowledge  Kant  Public reason  Testimony
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DOI 10.1007/s11158-009-9105-3
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References found in this work BETA

Inclusion and Democracy.Iris Marion Young - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Critique of Pure Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1998 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Critique of Pure Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1991 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Blackwell. pp. 449-451.
Testimony: A Philosophical Study.C. A. J. Coady - 1992 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

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