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  1. Democracy and the Epistemic Problems of Political Polarization.Jonathan Benson - forthcoming - American Political Science Review.
    Political polarization is one of the most discussed challenges facing contemporary democracies and is often associated with a broader epistemic crisis. While inspiring a large literature in political science, polarization’s epistemic problems also have significance for normative democratic theory, and this study develops a new approach aimed at understanding them. In contrast to prominent accounts from political psychology—group polarization theory and cultural cognition theory—which argue that polarization leads individuals to form unreliable political beliefs, this study focuses on system-level diversity. It (...)
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  • Depolarization Without Reconciliation.Robert B. Talisse - 2023 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 35 (4):426-449.
    ABSTRACT According to contemporary diagnoses, democracy is foundering because of polarization. It is natural to think that if polarization is a problem, the remedy is to reconcile the conflicting sides. Yet reconciliation seems to involve the disturbing prescription that citizens should reconcile with radicals who have divested from democratic norms. That assumes, however, that polarization is symmetrical, whereby each side is equally responsible for it. But polarization need not depend on the assumption of such symmetry, such that depolarization may be (...)
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  • Democratic citizenship and polarization: Robert Talisse’s theory of democracy.Daniel Sharp - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (4):701-708.
    This review essay critically discusses Robert Talisse’s account of democracy and polarization. I argue that Talisse overstates the degree to which polarization arises from the good-faith practice of democratic citizenship and downplays the extent to which polarization is caused by elites and exacerbated by social structures; this leads Talisse to overlook structural approaches to managing polarization and leaves his account of how citizens should respond to polarization incomplete. I conclude that Talisse’s insights should nevertheless be integrated into a broader agenda (...)
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  • Hostile Epistemology.C. Thi Nguyen - 2023 - Social Philosophy Today 39:9-32.
    Hostile epistemology is the study of how environmental features exploit our cognitive vulnerabilities. I am particularly interested in those vulnerabilities arise from the basic character of our epistemic lives. We are finite beings with limited cognitive resources, perpetually forced to reasoning a rush. I focus on two sources of unavoidable vulnerability. First, we need to use cognitive shortcuts and heuristics to manage our limited time and attention. But hostile forces can always game the gap between the heuristic and the ideal. (...)
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