On the Importance of Reversibility in Deliberative Democracy

Social Philosophy Today 19:179-191 (2003)

In this essay I argue that proponents of deliberative democracy too quickly assume that the idea of reciprocity is the best moral foundation. I further argue that a more fundamental ground, namely that of reversibility, is overlooked, a ground that transforms the nature of deliberative interaction. Thus, my aim is to develop this alternate ground and indicate how it augments the notion of democratic reciprocity. I demonstrate how the appeal to reason by proponents of deliberative democracy is an epistemic ground from which a notion of reciprocity emerges that regulates what is and is not deliberatively acceptable. I contend, however, thatsuch a reliance on this epistemic ground of reason overlooks a more fundamental ground without which reciprocity is impossible. This other ground that I develop is what I call the phenomenological ground of reversibility.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Social and Political Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1543-4044
DOI socphiltoday20031912
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