From pragmatism to perfectionism: Cheryl Misak's epistemic deliberativism

Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (3):387-406 (2007)
In recent work, Cheryl Misak has developed a novel justification of deliberative democracy rooted in Peircean epistemology. In this article, the author expands Misak's arguments to show that not only does Peircean pragmatism provide a justification for deliberative democracy that is more compelling than the justifications offered by competing liberal and discursivist views, but also fixes a specific conception of deliberative politics that is perfectionist rather than neutralist. The article concludes with a discussion of whether the `epistemic perfectionism' implied by the pragmatist argument could be endorsed by liberal democrats. Key Words: deliberative democracy • epistemology • liberalism • Cheryl Misak • Charles Peirce • perfectionism • pragmatism • truth.
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