A culture of justification: The pragmatist's epistemic argument for democracy

Episteme 5 (1):pp. 94-105 (2008)
The pragmatist view of politics is at its very heart epistemic, for it treats morals and politics as a kind of deliberation or inquiry, not terribly unlike other kinds of inquiry. With the exception of Richard Rorty, the pragmatists argue that morals and politics, like science, aim at the truth or at getting things right and that the best method for achieving this aim is a method they sometimes call the scientific method or the method of intelligence – what would now be termed deliberative democracy. Hence, the pragmatists offer an argument for democracy which appeals to the quality of the decisions supplied by democratic procedure. Why should we value decisions that are the products of voting after open debate over private decision-making and then voting, over bargaining, or over elimination of those who disagree with us? We should value them because the deliberative democratic method is more likely to give us true or right or justified answers to our questions. Rorty, of course, thinks that no inquiry aims at the truth and that nothing about pragmatism speaks in democracy’s favor. This paper will show how his brand of pragmatism betrays what is good and deeply interesting in the pragmatist tradition.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1353/epi.0.0027
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,106
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.R. Rorty - 1979 - Princeton University Press.
Consequences of Pragmatism.Richard Rorty - 1982 - University of Minnesota Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Theories of Political Justification.Simone Chambers - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (11):893-903.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

170 ( #27,100 of 2,171,751 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #117,927 of 2,171,751 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums