Contemporary Political Theory 1 (3):307-327 (2002)

Jonathan Quong
University of Southern California
Identity claims are a common feature of political debate in many Western democracies. Cultural, linguistic, and religious minorities often defend or attack particular political proposals by appealing to the effect the proposal will have on their group's identity. Is this form of reasoning compatible with the normative ideal of deliberative democracy? This article examines and refutes two powerful arguments recently advanced in the literature which suggest the answer is no. First, there is the public reason objection, which holds that identity claims do not meet the standards of reciprocal moral dialogue. Second, there is a compossibility objection, which asserts that identity claims cannot be simultaneously realized. This would force us into the undesirable position of having to disrespect deliberative participants, instead of merely disagreeing with them. Both objections are shown to be mistaken. Identity claims, it is argued, can be good deliberative reasons like any other. The article concludes by suggesting several tests identity claims must pass in order to meet the standards of deliberative reciprocity
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1057/palgrave.cpt.9300053
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 56,913
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Cultural Exemptions, Expensive Tastes, and Equal Opportunities.Jonathan Quong - 2006 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (1):53–71.
Religious Faith and the Fallibility of Public Reasons.Andrei Bespalov - 2019 - Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 8 (2):223-46.
Deliberative Consociationalism in Deeply Divided Societies.Anna Drake & Allison McCulloch - 2011 - Contemporary Political Theory 10 (3):372-392.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Communicative Democracy: A Version of Deliberative Democracy.Adela Cortina - 2010 - Archiv für Rechts- Und Sozialphilosophie 96 (2):133-150.
Can Deliberative Democracy Be Partisan?Russell Muirhead - 2010 - Critical Review 22 (2-3):129-157.
The (Severe) Limits of Deliberative Democracy as the Basis for Political Choice.Gerald F. Gaus - 2008 - Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 55 (117):26-53.
Cultural Claims and the Limits of Liberal Democracy.Ranjoo Seodu Herr - 2008 - Social Theory and Practice 34 (1):25-48.
Pictures of Politics: Deliberative and Other Aspects of Democracy.Bert van den Brink - 2012 - Archiv für Rechts- Und Sozialphilosophie 98 (3):396-410.
Liberal, Republican and Deliberative Democracy.Henning Ottmann - 2006 - Synthesis Philosophica 21 (2):315-325.
A Deliberative Solution to the Social Choice Problem.Ivan Mladenovic - 2011 - Filozofija I Društvo 22 (1):123-142.
Democracy and the Deliberative Conceit.Mark Pennington - 2010 - Critical Review 22 (2-3):159-184.
War, Manipulation of Consent, and Deliberative Democracy.William S. Lewis - 2008 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 22 (4):pp. 266-277.
Defending Deliberation: A Comment on Ian Shapiro's The State of Democratic Theory.James Fishkin - 2005 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8 (1):71-78.


Added to PP index

Total views
22 ( #470,786 of 2,409,599 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #540,301 of 2,409,599 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes