Journal of Political Philosophy 22 (3):342-365 (2014)

Wiredu’s call for democracy by consensus is illustrated by his description of traditional African consensual rationality. This description contains the attribution of immanence to African consensual rationality. This paper objects to this doctrine of immanence. More importantly, the doctrine of immanence has led to the attribution of pure rationality to traditional African consensual practices. With reference to Aristotle’s three components of persuasion, I object to deliberation as purely rational and impervious to extraneous factors. I further argue that it is because deliberation is not always perfectly rational that the process of consensus can suffer three forms of social conformity: conformity to dominant players, to numerical opinion majority, and to group-centrism. These forms of conformity mean that a consensus task order could lead to decisions of more inclusive value, but not necessarily decisions of more epistemic value. The concept of agonistic inquiry is employed to tackle what I see as the dangers of conformity and complacency in the project of inclusivity, and this is to strike a crucial balance between too-consensual and purely adversarial forms of deliberation.
Keywords Deliberation  Consensus  Majoritarianism
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DOI 10.1111/jopp.12013
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References found in this work BETA

Inclusion and Democracy.Iris Marion Young - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Rhetoric. Aristotle & C. D. C. Reeve - 2018 - Hackett Publishing Company.
Against Deliberation.Lynn M. Sanders - 1997 - Political Theory 25 (3):347-376.
Philosophy and an African Culture.Kwasi Wiredu - 1980 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Response to Metz's Reply on the End of Ubuntu.Bernard Matolino - 2015 - South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (2):214-225.
On Agreed Actions Without Agreed Notions.Emmanuel Ifeanyi Ani - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):311-320.
Kwasi Wiredu’s Consensual Democracy: Prospects for Practice in Africa.Martin Odei Ajei - 2016 - European Journal of Political Theory 15 (4):445-466.

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