Real Politics, Ideal Discourses, and the Value of Agreement

Glen Pettigrove
University of Glasgow
John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas, and Bruce Ackerman have identified legitimate political arrangements with those to which speakers in an idealized discourse could agree. Michael Walzer, Tim Heysse, and others have raised questions regarding this appeal to ideal speech situations, arguing that we ought to ground our political decisions in real, rather than ideal conversations. This paper responds to some of these criticisms by examining the value of agreement.
Keywords John Rawls   Jürgen Habermas  Michael Walzer  virtue politics
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