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Moral Pluralism, Moral Motivation, and Democracy: A Critique of Talisse’s Epistemic Justification of Democracy

Moral Pluralism, Moral Motivation, and Democracy: A Critique of Talisse’s Epistemic Justification... Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 8, No. 2 (December 2011), 145­162 Editions Rodopi © 2011 In Democracy and Moral Conflict, Robert Talisse defends a folk epistemological justification of democracy. This is a universalist and nonmoral justification that he deems necessary to accommodate moral pluralism. In contrast, I argue that this attempt fails to justify democracy, on three grounds. First, democracy cannot accommodate moral pluralism, as Talisse understands it. Second, Talisse's own conception of democracy is inconsistent with moral pluralism. And third, democracy requires moral justification and motivation, both of which can be made consistent from within an experimental moral pluralism. Epistemic justifications of democracy have flourished in the last decade, with figures in the pragmatic tradition especially represented. Among the most prominent proponents has been Robert Talisse with a series of books purporting to demonstrate the universal, yet largely implicit, commitment to democracy, on epistemic rather than moral grounds.1 According to Talisse, as well as his fellow Peircean Cheryl Misak, everyone is committed to democracy, which includes a set of epistemic norms and various institutional requirements, simply by virtue of holding beliefs. The epistemic approach is supposed to have the virtue, in addition to its universality, of avoiding the intractable http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Moral Pluralism, Moral Motivation, and Democracy: A Critique of Talisse’s Epistemic Justification of Democracy

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 8 (2): 145 – Apr 21, 2011

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2011 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000207
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 8, No. 2 (December 2011), 145­162 Editions Rodopi © 2011 In Democracy and Moral Conflict, Robert Talisse defends a folk epistemological justification of democracy. This is a universalist and nonmoral justification that he deems necessary to accommodate moral pluralism. In contrast, I argue that this attempt fails to justify democracy, on three grounds. First, democracy cannot accommodate moral pluralism, as Talisse understands it. Second, Talisse's own conception of democracy is inconsistent with moral pluralism. And third, democracy requires moral justification and motivation, both of which can be made consistent from within an experimental moral pluralism. Epistemic justifications of democracy have flourished in the last decade, with figures in the pragmatic tradition especially represented. Among the most prominent proponents has been Robert Talisse with a series of books purporting to demonstrate the universal, yet largely implicit, commitment to democracy, on epistemic rather than moral grounds.1 According to Talisse, as well as his fellow Peircean Cheryl Misak, everyone is committed to democracy, which includes a set of epistemic norms and various institutional requirements, simply by virtue of holding beliefs. The epistemic approach is supposed to have the virtue, in addition to its universality, of avoiding the intractable

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2011

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