Democratic deliberation, respect and personal storytelling

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (5):601-618 (2017)
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Abstract

In pluralistic deliberative settings, where people come from different cultural and social backgrounds, sharing personal experiences and narratives in the first person is often advocated as a preferential means to bridge the informational and motivational gap between members of different social groups. Whatever the epistemic merits of personal storytelling in democratic deliberation may be, the request for transparency and disclosure of people’s private experiences that this practice entails may be objectionable on moral grounds, because it disrespects people as agents who have practical authority over their own lives. Having people disclose their personal stories in public can humiliate them, reify them and abridge their personal liberties. What is worse, these harms are especially likely to be inflicted upon members of marginalised or disadvantaged minorities. For deliberativists, this should be a matter of concern because respect for people as agents is arguably one of the founding principles of democratic deliberation.

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Author's Profile

Valeria Ottonelli
Università degli Studi di Genova

References found in this work

What is the point of equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Democracy and Disagreement.Amy Gutmann & Dennis Thompson - 1996 - Ethics 108 (3):607-610.
Respect and the Basis of Equality.Ian Carter - 2011 - Ethics 121 (3):538-571.

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