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Robert B. Talisse
Vanderbilt University
  1.  4
    Overdoing Democracy: Why We Must Put Politics in its Place.Robert B. Talisse - 2019 - Oup Usa.
    In Overdoing Democracy, Robert B. Talisse turns the popular adage "the cure for democracy's ills is more democracy" on its head. Indeed, he argues, the widely recognized, crisis-level polarization within contemporary democracy stems from the tendency among citizens to overdo democracy. When we make everything--even where we shop, the teams we cheer for, and the coffee we drink--about our politics, we weaken our bonds to one another, and work against the fundamental goals of democracy. Talisse advocates civic friendship built around (...)
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  2. Political Argument in a Polarized Age.Scott Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2020 - Medford, MA, USA: Polity.
  3.  59
    Democracy and Moral Conflict.Robert B. Talisse - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    Why democracy? Most often this question is met with an appeal to some decidedly moral value, such as equality, liberty, dignity or even peace. But in contemporary democratic societies, there is deep disagreement and conflict about the precise nature and relative worth of these values. And when democracy votes, some of those who lose will see the prevailing outcome as not merely disappointing, but morally intolerable. How should citizens react when confronted with a democratic result that they regard as intolerable? (...)
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  4. A Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy.Robert B. Talisse - 2007 - Routledge.
  5.  74
    Pragmatism a Guide for the Perplexed.Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin - 2008 - London, UK: Continuum.
    The origins of pragmatism -- Pragmatism and epistemology -- Pragmatism and truth -- Pragmatism and metaphysics -- Pragmatism and ethics -- Pragmatism and politics -- Pragmatism and environmental ethics.
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  6. Democracy After Liberalism: Pragmatism and Deliberative Politics.Robert Talisse - 2004 - Routledge.
    This book critically evaluates liberalism, the dominant attempt in the tradition of political philosophy to provide a philosophical foundation for democracy, and argues for a conception of deliberative democracy to meet this need.
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  7.  87
    Two Forms of the Straw Man.Robert Talisse & Scott F. Aikin - 2006 - Argumentation 20 (3):345-352.
    The authors identify and offer an analysis of a new form of the Straw Man fallacy, and then explore the implications of the prevalence of this fallacy for contemporary political discourse.
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  8.  1
    A Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy : Communities of Inquiry.Robert B. Talisse - 2007 - Routledge.
    Contiene: Email and ethics -- Causation and laws of nature -- Internalism and epistemology -- Einstein, relativity, and absolute simultaneity -- Epistemology modalized -- Truth and speech acts -- Fiction, narrative, and knowledge -- A pragmatist philosophy of democracy.
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  9.  7
    Why We Argue : A Guide to Political Disagreement.Scott F. Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2013 - Routledge.
    Why We Argue : A Guide to Political Disagreement presents an accessible and engaging introduction to the theory of argument, with special emphasis on the way argument works in public political debate. The authors develop a view according to which proper argument is necessary for one’s individual cognitive health; this insight is then expanded to the collective health of one’s society. Proper argumentation, then, is seen to play a central role in a well-functioning democracy. Written in a lively style and (...)
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  10.  58
    Belief and the Error Theory.Andrew T. Forcehimes & Robert B. Talisse - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (4):849-856.
    A new kind of debate about the normative error theory has emerged. Whereas longstanding debates have fixed on the error theory’s plausibility, this new debate concerns the theory’s believability. Bart Streumer is the chief proponent of the error theory’s unbelievability. In this brief essay, we argue that Streumer’s argument prevails against extant critiques, and then press a criticism of our own.
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  11.  48
    The Trouble with Hooligans.Robert B. Talisse - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (1):1-12.
    ABSTRACTThis essay covers two criticisms of Brennan’s Against Democracy. The first charges that the public political ignorance findings upon which Brennan relies are not epistemically nuanced to th...
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  12.  91
    Does Public Ignorance Defeat Deliberative Democracy?Robert B. Talisse - 2004 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 16 (4):455-463.
    Abstract Richard Posner and Ilya Somin have recently posed forceful versions of a common objection to deliberative democracy, the Public Ignorance Objection. This objection holds that demonstrably high levels of public ignorance render deliberative democracy practically impossible. But the public?ignorance data show that the public is ignorant in a way that does not necessarily defeat deliberative democracy. Posner and Somin have overestimated the force of the Public Ignorance Objection, so the question of deliberative democracy's practical feasibility is still open.
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  13.  49
    Debate: Pragmatist Epistemology and Democratic Theory: A Reply to Eric MacGilvray.Cheryl Misak & Robert B. Talisse - 2014 - Journal of Political Philosophy 22 (3):366-376.
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  14.  29
    The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present.Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.) - 2011 - Princeton University Press.
    The Pragmatism Reader is the essential anthology of this important philosophical movement. Each selection featured here is a key writing by a leading pragmatist thinker, and represents a distinctively pragmatist approach to a core philosophical problem. The collection includes work by pragmatism's founders, Charles Peirce, William James, and John Dewey, as well as seminal writings by mid-twentieth-century pragmatists such as Sidney Hook, C. I. Lewis, Nelson Goodman, Rudolf Carnap, Wilfrid Sellars, and W.V.O. Quine. This reader also includes the most important (...)
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  15.  66
    A Farewell to Deweyan Democracy: Towards a New Pragmatist Politics.Robert B. Talisse - 2011 - Political Studies 59 (3):509-526.
    The revival of pragmatism has brought renewed enthusiasm for John Dewey's conception of democracy. Drawing upon Rawlsian concerns regarding the fact of reasonable pluralism, the author argues that Deweyan democracy is unworthy of resurrection. A modified version of Deweyan democracy recently proposed by Elizabeth Anderson is then taken up and also found to be lacking. Then the author proposes a model of democracy that draws upon Peirce's social epistemology. The result is a non-Deweyan but nonetheless pragmatist option in democratic theory.
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  16.  51
    Why Pragmatists Cannot Be Pluralists.Robert Talisse - 2005 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 41 (1):101 - 118.
    Contemporary pragmatists frequently claim to be pluralists, but infrequently say what this commitment means. The authors argue that pragmatism is inconsistent with any commitment that can plausibly be called pluralism.
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  17. Towards a Peircean Politics of Inquiry.Robert B. Talisse - 2004 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 40 (1):21 - 38.
  18.  84
    Deliberativist Responses to Activist Challenges: A Continuation of Young’s Dialectic.Robert B. Talisse - 2005 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 31 (4):423-444.
    In a recent article, Iris Marion Young raises several challenges to deliberative democracy on behalf of political activists. In this paper, the author defends a version of deliberative democracy against the activist challenges raised by Young and devises challenges to activism on behalf of the deliberative democrat. Key Words: activism • deliberative democracy • Discourse • Ideology • public sphere • I. M. Young.
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  19.  32
    Sustaining Democracy: Folk Epistemology and Social Conflict.Robert B. Talisse - 2013 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (4):500-519.
  20. Toward a Social Epistemic Comprehensive Liberalism.Robert B. Talisse - 2008 - Episteme 5 (1):pp. 106-128.
    For well over a decade, much of liberal political theory has accepted the founding premise of Rawls's political liberalism, according to which the fact of reasonable pluralism renders comprehensive versions of liberalism incoherent. However, the founding premise presumes that all comprehensive doctrines are moral doctrines. In this essay, the author builds upon recent work by Allen Buchanan and develops a comprehensive version of liberalism based in a partially comprehensive social epistemic doctrine. The author then argues that this version of liberalism (...)
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  21.  51
    Pluralism and Liberal Politics.Robert Talisse - 2011 - Routledge.
    In this book, Robert Talisse critically examines the moral and political implications of pluralism, the view that our best moral thinking is indeterminate and that moral conflict is an inescapable feature of the human condition. Through a careful engagement with the work of William James, Isaiah Berlin, John Rawls, and their contemporary followers, Talisse distinguishes two broad types of moral pluralism: metaphysical and epistemic. After arguing that metaphysical pluralism does not offer a compelling account of value and thus cannot ground (...)
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  22. From Pragmatism to Perfectionism: Cheryl Misak's Epistemic Deliberativism.Robert B. Talisse - 2007 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (3):387-406.
    In recent work, Cheryl Misak has developed a novel justification of deliberative democracy rooted in Peircean epistemology. In this article, the author expands Misak's arguments to show that not only does Peircean pragmatism provide a justification for deliberative democracy that is more compelling than the justifications offered by competing liberal and discursivist views, but also fixes a specific conception of deliberative politics that is perfectionist rather than neutralist. The article concludes with a discussion of whether the `epistemic perfectionism' implied by (...)
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  23.  44
    Can Value Pluralists Be Comprehensive Liberals? Galston's Liberal Pluralism.Robert B. Talisse - 2004 - Contemporary Political Theory 3 (2):127-139.
    In this paper, the author engages William Galston's recent attempt to revive the Berlinian project of developing a comprehensive theory of liberalism from value pluralist premises. The author's argument maintains that, despite Galston's attempts, the value pluralist in fact has no resources with which to recommend a liberal political order over a variety of illiberal regimes, and that, further, Galston's own justificatory strategy is indistinguishable from the later Rawls's noncomprehensive, ‘political' liberalism. Although the argument engages the work of Berlin and (...)
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  24. Impunity and Domination: A Puzzle for Republicanism.Robert B. Talisse - 2014 - European Journal of Political Theory 13 (2):121-131.
    Republicans hold that freedom is non-domination rather than non-interference. This entails that any instance of interference that does not involve domination is not freedom-lessening. The case for thinking of freedom as non-domination proceeds mostly by way of a handful of highly compelling cases in which it seems intuitive to say of some person that he or she is unfree despite being in fact free from interference. In this essay, I call attention to a kind of case which directs attention to (...)
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  25. Still Searching for a Pragmatist Pluralism.Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin - 2005 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 41 (1):145 - 160.
  26.  60
    Reply to Joshua Anderson.Scott F. Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2015 - The Pluralist 10 (3):335-343.
    We are pleased to find that our 2005 paper “Why Pragmatists Cannot Be Pluralists” continues to draw critical attention. It seems to us that despite the many responses to our paper, its central challenge has not been met. That challenge is for pragmatists to articulate a genuine pluralism that is consistent with their broader commitments. Unfortunately, much of the wrangling over our paper has aimed to capture the word “pluralism” for pragmatist deployment; little has been done to clarify what that (...)
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  27. Deliberativist Responses to Activist Challenges.Robert Talisse - manuscript
    In a recent article, Iris Marion Young raises several challenges to deliberative democracy on behalf of political activists. In this paper, the author defends a version of deliberative democracy against the activist challenges raised by Young and devises challenges to activism on behalf of the deliberative democrat.
     
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  28.  20
    An Epistemological Defense Of Democracy.Robert Talisse - 2010 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 22 (2):281-291.
    Folk epistemology—the idea that one can't help believing that one's beliefs are true—provides an alternative to political theorists' inadequate defenses of democracy. It implicitly suggests a dialectical, truth-seeking norm for dealing with people who do not share one's own beliefs. Folk epistemology takes us beyond Mill's consequentialist claim for democracy ; instead, the epistemic freedom of the democratic process itself makes citizens confident that evidence for one's beliefs have not been distorted by a corrupt system. Since the starting point of (...)
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  29.  29
    An Epistemological Defense of Democracy.Robert B. Talisse - 2010 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 22 (2-3):281-291.
    Folk epistemology?the idea that one can't help believing that one's beliefs are true?provides an alternative to political theorists' inadequate defenses of democracy. It implicitly suggests a dialectical, truth-seeking norm for dealing with people who do not share one's own beliefs. Folk epistemology takes us beyond Mill's consequentialist claim for democracy (that the free array of opinions in a deliberative democracy leads us to the truth); instead, the epistemic freedom of the democratic process itself makes citizens confident that evidence for one's (...)
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  30.  24
    Happiness and Goodness: Philosophical Refl Ections on Living Well.Steven M. Cahn, Christine Vitrano & Robert Talisse - 2015 - Cambridge University Press.
    How should we evaluate the success of each person's life? Countering the prevalent philosophical perspective on the subject, Steven M. Cahn and Christine Vitrano defend the view that our well-being is dependent not on particular activities, accomplishments, or awards but on finding personal satisfaction while treating others with due concern. The authors suggest that moral behavior is not necessary for happiness and does not ensure it. Yet they also argue that morality and happiness are needed for living well, and together (...)
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  31.  38
    Why We Argue: A Sketch of an Epistemic-Democratic Program.Scott F. Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2014 - Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 29 (2):60-67.
    This essay summarizes the research program developed in our new book, Why We Argue : A Guide to Political Disagreement. Humans naturally want to know and to take themselves as having reason on their side. Additionally, many people take democracy to be a uniquely proper mode of political arrangement. There is an old tension between reason and democracy, however, and it was first articulated by Plato. Plato’s concern about democracy was that it detached political decision from reason. Epistemic democrats attempt (...)
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  32. Misunderstanding Socrates.Robert Talisse - unknown - Arion 9 (3).
     
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  33.  69
    Folk Epistemology and the Justification of Democracy.Robert Talisse - manuscript
    In introduce the concept of a "folk epistemology" and argue that norms arising from our folk epistemic commitments provide a compelling social epistemic justification for democratic political norms.
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  34. Dewey's Critical Pragmatism.Alison Kadlec, Bruno Latour, Peter Weibel & Robert B. Talisse - 2009 - Political Theory 37 (3):423-431.
     
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  35. Why We Argue (and How We Should): A Guide to Political Disagreement in an Age of Unreason.Scott F. Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2018 - Routledge.
    Why We Argue : A Guide to Political Disagreement in an Age of Unreason presents an accessible and engaging introduction to the theory of argument, with special emphasis on the way argument works in public political debate. The authors develop a view according to which proper argument is necessary for one's individual cognitive health; this insight is then expanded to the collective health of one's society. Proper argumentation, then, is seen to play a central role in a well-functioning democracy. Written (...)
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  36.  61
    Kitcher on the Ethics of Inquiry.Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin - 2007 - Journal of Social Philosophy 38 (4):654-665.
    The thesis that scientific inquiry must operate within moral constraints is familiar and unobjectionable in cases involving immoral treatment of experimental subjects, as in the infamous Tuskegee experiments. However, in Science, Truth, and Democracy1 and related work,2 Philip Kitcher envisions a more controversial set of constraints. Specifically, he argues that inquiry ought not to be pursued in cases where the consequences of its pursuit are likely to affect negatively the lives of individuals who comprise a socially underprivileged group. This constraint (...)
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  37.  20
    Democracy and Ignorance: Reply to Friedman.Robert B. Talisse - 2006 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 18 (4):453-466.
    Several distinct epistemic states may be properly characterized as states of ?ignorance.? It is not clear that the ?public ignorance? on which Jeffrey Friedman bases his critique of social democracy is objectionable, because it is not evident which of these epistemic states is at issue. Moreover, few extant theories of democracy defend it on the grounds that it produces good outcomes, rather than because its procedures are just. And even the subcategory of democratic theories that focus on epistemic issues take (...)
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  38.  47
    Can Democracy Be a Way of Life? Deweyan Democracy and the Problem of Pluralism.Robert B. Talisse - 2003 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 39 (1):1 - 21.
  39.  32
    Two‐Faced Liberalism: John Gray's Pluralist Politics and the Reinstatement of Enlightenment Liberalism.Robert B. Talisse - 2000 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 14 (4):441-458.
    Abstract In Two Faces of Liberalism, John Gray pursues the dual agenda of condemning familiar liberal theories for perpetuating the failed ?Enlightenment project,? and promoting his own version of anti?Enlightenment liberalism, which he calls ?modus vivendi.? However, Gray's critical apparatus is insufficient to capture accurately the highly influential ?political? liberalism of John Rawls. Moreover, Gray's modus vivendi faces serious challenges raised by Rawls concerning stability. In order to respond to the Rawlsian objections, Gray would have to reinstate the aspirations and (...)
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  40. Modus Tonens.Scott F. Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2008 - Argumentation 22 (4):521-529.
    Restating an interlocutor’s position in an incredulous tone of voice can sometimes serve legitimate dialectical ends. However, there are cases in which incredulous restatement is out of bounds. This article provides an analysis of one common instance of the inappropriate use of incredulous restatement, which the authors call “modus tonens.” The authors argue that modus tonens is vicious because it pragmatically implicates the view that one’s interlocutor is one’s cognitive subordinate and provides a cue to like-minded onlookers that dialectical opponents (...)
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  41.  54
    Responses to My Critics.Robert B. Talisse - 2009 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 45 (1):pp. 90-108.
  42. Clarifying Cohen: A Response to Jubb and Hall.Andrew T. Forcehimes & Robert B. Talisse - 2013 - Res Publica 19 (4):371-379.
    In this brief essay, we clarify Cohen’s ‘Facts and Principles’ argument, and then argue that the objections posed by two recent critiques of Cohen—Robert Jubb (Res Publica 15:337–353, 2009) and Edward Hall (Res Publica 19:173–181, 2013)—look especially vulnerable to the charge of being self-defeating. It may still be that Cohen’s view concerning facts and principles is false. Our aim here is merely to show that two recent attempts to demonstrate its falsity are unlikely to succeed.
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  43.  6
    Pragmatism, Pluralism, and the Nature of Philosophy.Scott F. Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2017 - Routledge.
  44.  4
    On Rawls: A Liberal Theory of Justice and Justification.Robert B. Talisse - 2001 - Wadsworth.
    This brief text assists students in understanding Rawls' philosophy and thinking so they can more fully engage in useful, intelligent class dialogue and improve their understanding of course content. Part of the Wadsworth Notes Series,, ON RAWLS is written by a philosopher deeply versed in the philosophy of this key thinker. Like other books in the series, this concise book offers sufficient insight into the thinking of a notable philosopher, better enabling students to engage in reading and to discuss the (...)
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  45. Three Challenges To Jamesian Ethics.Scott Aikin & Robert Talisse - 2011 - William James Studies 6:3-9.
    Classical pragmatism is committed to the thought that philosophy must be relevant to ordinary life. This commitment is frequently employed critically: to show that some idea is irrelevant to ordinary life is to prove it to be expendable. But the commitment is also constructive: pragmatists must strive to make their positive views relevant. Accordingly, one would expect the classical pragmatists to have fixed their attention on ethics, since this is the area of philosophy most attuned to everyday problems. Although ethics (...)
     
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  46.  20
    Response to Lever.Robert B. Talisse - 2015 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 18 (1):82-85.
  47.  29
    Reply to Festenstein.Robert B. Talisse - 2010 - Contemporary Political Theory 9 (1):45-49.
  48.  34
    Pragmatist Political Philosophy.Robert B. Talisse - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (2):123-130.
    This essay surveys three prominent trends in current pragmatist political philosophy: Deweyan Democratic Perfectionism, Rortyan Ironism, and Pragmatist Epistemic Deliberativism. After articulating the main commitments of each view, the author raises philosophical problems each must confront. The essay closes with the more general criticism that pragmatist political theory has been nearly exclusively focused on democracy, but needs to address additional topics.
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  49.  52
    Deliberative Democracy Defended: A Response To Posner’s Political Realism.Robert B. Talisse - 2005 - Res Publica 11 (2):185-199.
  50.  54
    Introduction: Pragmatism and Deliberative Politics.Robert B. Talisse - 2004 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 18 (1):1-8.
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