Communities of inquiry and democratic politics

This contribution raises two questions about Talisse’s strategy of grounding democratic norms in a perfectionist account of epistemic agency: first, whether a perfectionist account of epistemic agency is plausible in itself, and second, whether Talisse is right to posit such a close relationship between communities of inquiry and democratic community? Epistemic perfectionism is rejected in favour of a more pluralist view of epistemic agency which starts from an account of the agent’s particular responsibilities. Next it is argued that communities of inquiry are neither democratic, nor is democratic government a condition of their flourishing. Against the grounding strategy, it is argued that those epistemic responsibilities pertinent to the practice of democratic politics can only be determined once we are in possession of a prior account of our civic responsibilities.
Keywords Inquiry  Democracy
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DOI 10.2979/TRA.2009.45.1.71
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