The rhetoric of deliberation: Some problems in Kantian theories of deliberative democracy

Res Publica 8 (3):249-268 (2002)
Abstract
Deliberative or discursive models of democracy have recently enjoyed a revival in both political theory and policy practice. Against the picture of democracy as a procedure for aggregating and effectively meeting the given preference of individuals, deliberative theory offers a model of democracy as a forum through which judgements and preferences are formed and altered through reasoned dialogue between free and equal citizens. Much in the recent revival of deliberative democracy, especially that which comes through Habermas and Rawls, has Kantian roots. Deliberative institutions are embodiments of the free public use of reason that Kant takes to define the enlightenment project. Within the Kantian model the public use of reason is incompatible with the use of rhetoric. While this paper rejects strong rhetorical criticisms of deliberative democracy which render all communication strategic, it argues that rhetorical studies of deliberation have highlighted features of deliberation which point to significant weaknesses in Kantian approaches to it. Two features are of particular importance: the role of testimony and judgements of credibility in deliberation; and the role of appeal to emotions in public discourse. Both from the Kantian perspective are potential sources of heteronomy. However, the appeal to testimony and emotion are features of public deliberation that cannot and should not be eliminated. For those committed to the enlightenment values that underlie the deliberative model of democracy the question is whether these rhetorical features of deliberation are incompatible with those values. The paper argues that they are compatible. It does so by defending an Aristotelian account of rhetoric in public deliberation which denies the Platonic contrast between reasoned discourse and rhetoric which the Kantian model inherits.
Keywords Aristotle  deliberative democracy  emotion  Kant  rhetoric  testimony
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    J. O'Neill (2003). Unified Science as Political Philosophy: Positivism, Pluralism and Liberalism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (3):575-596.
    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    34 ( #43,045 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    2 ( #42,739 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.