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A Call for Inclusion in the Pragmatic Justification of Democracy

A Call for Inclusion in the Pragmatic Justification of Democracy Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 6, No. 1 (June 2009), 131­151 Editions Rodopi © 2009 Despite accepting Robert Talisse's pluralist critique of models of democratic legitimacy that rely on substantive images of the common good, there is insufficient reason to dismiss Dewey's thought from future attempts at a pragmatist philosophy of democracy. First, Dewey's use of substantive arguments does not prevent him from also making epistemic arguments that proceed from the general conditions of inquiry. Second, Dewey's account of the mean-ends transaction shows that ends-in-view are developed from within the process of democratic inquiry, not imposed from without. Third, Talisse's model does not satisfy another general norm of inquiry ­ that of charity. A sure sign that a philosophical movement has reached maturity is that it takes a moment to stop fighting enemies from without and sets its sights on enemies from within. When absolutists, realists, idealists and postmodernists are at the gate, we pragmatists have to stand united. Once secure, we begin to take roll to find who fits within the movement and who does not. This appears to have happened in one area of contemporary pragmatic thought. Until recently, if thinkers such as Richard Rorty, Stanley Fish, and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

A Call for Inclusion in the Pragmatic Justification of Democracy

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 6 (1): 131 – Apr 21, 2009

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2009 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000107
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 6, No. 1 (June 2009), 131­151 Editions Rodopi © 2009 Despite accepting Robert Talisse's pluralist critique of models of democratic legitimacy that rely on substantive images of the common good, there is insufficient reason to dismiss Dewey's thought from future attempts at a pragmatist philosophy of democracy. First, Dewey's use of substantive arguments does not prevent him from also making epistemic arguments that proceed from the general conditions of inquiry. Second, Dewey's account of the mean-ends transaction shows that ends-in-view are developed from within the process of democratic inquiry, not imposed from without. Third, Talisse's model does not satisfy another general norm of inquiry ­ that of charity. A sure sign that a philosophical movement has reached maturity is that it takes a moment to stop fighting enemies from without and sets its sights on enemies from within. When absolutists, realists, idealists and postmodernists are at the gate, we pragmatists have to stand united. Once secure, we begin to take roll to find who fits within the movement and who does not. This appears to have happened in one area of contemporary pragmatic thought. Until recently, if thinkers such as Richard Rorty, Stanley Fish, and

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2009

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