Rational Choice and Democratic Deliberation: A Theory of Discourse Failure by Fernando R. Teson

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Author
Fernando R. Teson
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Date of release
Pages
258
ISBN
9780521862691
Binding
Hardcover
Illustrations
Format
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
3
69

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Rational Choice and Democratic Deliberation: A Theory of Discourse Failure

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Book review

In public political deliberation, people will err and lie in accordance with definite patterns. Such discourse failure results from behavior that is both instrumentally and epistemically rational. The deliberative practices of a liberal democracy (let alone repressive or non-democratic societies) cannot be improved so as to overcome the tendency for rational citizens to believe and say things at odds with reliable propositions of social science. The theory has several corollaries. One is that much contemporary political philosophy can be seen as an unsuccessful attempt to vindicate, on symbolic and moral grounds, the forms that discourse failure take on in public political deliberation. Another is that deliberative practices cannot be rescued even on non-epistemic grounds, such as social peace, impartiality, participation, and equality. To alleviate discourse failure, this book proposes to reduce the scope of majoritarian politics and enlarge markets.


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