David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Episteme 5 (1):pp. 94-105 (2008)
The pragmatist view of politics is at its very heart epistemic, for it treats morals and politics as a kind of deliberation or inquiry, not terribly unlike other kinds of inquiry. With the exception of Richard Rorty, the pragmatists argue that morals and politics, like science, aim at the truth or at getting things right and that the best method for achieving this aim is a method they sometimes call the scientific method or the method of intelligence – what would now be termed deliberative democracy. Hence, the pragmatists offer an argument for democracy which appeals to the quality of the decisions supplied by democratic procedure. Why should we value decisions that are the products of voting after open debate over private decision-making and then voting, over bargaining, or over elimination of those who disagree with us? We should value them because the deliberative democratic method is more likely to give us true or right or justified answers to our questions. Rorty, of course, thinks that no inquiry aims at the truth and that nothing about pragmatism speaks in democracy’s favor. This paper will show how his brand of pragmatism betrays what is good and deeply interesting in the pragmatist tradition.
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References found in this work BETA
David M. Estlund (2009). Democratic Authority: A Philosophical Framework. Princeton University Press.
Susan Haack (1995). Vulgar Pragmatism. In Herman J. Saatkamp (ed.), Rorty & Pragmatism: The Philosopher Responds to His Critics. Vanderbilt University Press. 136.
C. J. Misak (ed.) (2007). New Pragmatists. Oxford University Press.
Charles S. Peirce (1931). Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce. Cambridge, Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Simone Chambers (2010). Theories of Political Justification. Philosophy Compass 5 (11):893-903.
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