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Democracy, Epistemology, Inquiry: Comments on Westbrook’s Democratic Hope

Democracy, Epistemology, Inquiry: Comments on Westbrook’s Democratic Hope Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 4, No. 2 (December 2007), 11­17 Editions Rodopi © 2007 Brendan Hogan Westbrook provides an epistemological argument for democracy which features Cheryl Misak's version of "truth aptness" in moral and political discourse. Importantly, practices of citizenship are also pointed to in providing the habits necessary to engage in inquiry that democracy requires. However, while the regulative ideal of Misak's epistemology includes pragmatic reflection regarding multiple possible answers to moral questions and fallibilism with regard to these answers, it is still unclear what paying the compliment of truth to these beliefs accomplishes in terms of practice, except to mark an exclusionary and potentially unpragmatic moment for democratic inquiry. The motivation for these remarks stems from a particular reading of John Dewey's philosophy. This reading recognizes and attempts to demonstrate and elucidate the centrality of his theory of action or agency to the areas of metaphilosophy, inquiry, the philosophy of social science, and ethics. These are widely recognized to be the consequences of what has been termed the pragmatic version, as opposed to Kant's version, of the primacy of practical reason. The primacy of practical reason privileges the role of what philosophers have called imagination, often times http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Democracy, Epistemology, Inquiry: Comments on Westbrook’s Democratic Hope

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 4 (2): 11 – Apr 21, 2007

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2007 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000067
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 4, No. 2 (December 2007), 11­17 Editions Rodopi © 2007 Brendan Hogan Westbrook provides an epistemological argument for democracy which features Cheryl Misak's version of "truth aptness" in moral and political discourse. Importantly, practices of citizenship are also pointed to in providing the habits necessary to engage in inquiry that democracy requires. However, while the regulative ideal of Misak's epistemology includes pragmatic reflection regarding multiple possible answers to moral questions and fallibilism with regard to these answers, it is still unclear what paying the compliment of truth to these beliefs accomplishes in terms of practice, except to mark an exclusionary and potentially unpragmatic moment for democratic inquiry. The motivation for these remarks stems from a particular reading of John Dewey's philosophy. This reading recognizes and attempts to demonstrate and elucidate the centrality of his theory of action or agency to the areas of metaphilosophy, inquiry, the philosophy of social science, and ethics. These are widely recognized to be the consequences of what has been termed the pragmatic version, as opposed to Kant's version, of the primacy of practical reason. The primacy of practical reason privileges the role of what philosophers have called imagination, often times

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2007

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