A dilemma for deliberative democrats

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The paper begins with the observation that, when decisions have to be reached on the basis of reasons, deliberative democrats face a hard choice on the matter of how individual judgments should be put together. After sketching the ideal of deliberative democracy, a ‘discursive dilemma’ is introduced, which highlights a serious problem of aggregating individual judgments into collective ones. It is shown that, while other arguments for deliberative democracy fail to give us a lead on how to resolve the dilemma, the republican argument offers strong and persuasive reason for going one particular route. The argument gives us reason to think that, even at the cost of moderating the rule of majority voting, any deliberatively democratic group should be concerned to ensure that the judgments and decisions it collectively endorses are consistent and otherwise rational; it should present itself as a collectivity that relates to others in the manner of a reasoning subject.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDeliberation and Decision
Subtitle of host publicationEconomics, Constitutional Theory and Deliberative Democracy
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781351945509
ISBN (Print)9780754623588
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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