David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Noûs 35 (s1):268-299 (2001)
Taken as a model for how groups should make collective judgments and decisions, the ideal of deliberative democracy is inherently ambiguous. Consider the idealised case where it is agreed on all sides that a certain conclusion should be endorsed if and only if certain premises are admitted. Does deliberative democracy recommend that members of the group debate the premises and then individually vote, in the light of that debate, on whether or not to support the conclusion? Or does it recommend that members individually vote on the premises, and then let their commitment to the conclusion be settled by whether or not the group endorses the required premises? Is deliberative democracy to enforce the discipline of reason at the individual level, as in the first possibility, or at the collective level, as in the second?
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