A Call for Inclusion in the Pragmatic Justification of Democracy

Contemporary Pragmatism 6 (1):131-151 (2009)
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Despite accepting Robert Talisse's pluralist critique of models of democratic legitimacy that rely on substantive images of the common good, there is insufficient reason to dismiss Dewey's thought from future attempts at a pragmatist philosophy of democracy. First, Dewey's use of substantive arguments does not prevent him from also making epistemic arguments that proceed from the general conditions of inquiry. Second, Dewey's account of the mean-ends transaction shows that ends-in-view are developed from within the process of democratic inquiry, not imposed from without. Third, Talisse's model does not satisfy another general norm of inquiry - that of charity

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Phillip Deen
University of New Hampshire, Manchester


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