What Would it Mean to Call Rorty a Deliberative Democrat?

In: Contemporary Pragmatism
Author: Susan Dieleman1
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  • 1 Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Saskatchewan, 9 Campus Drive, Saskatoon sk, S7K 9A9 Canada, susan.dieleman@usask.ca

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My goal in this paper is to determine whether there exists good reason to apply to Rorty the label “deliberative democrat.” There are elements of Rorty’s work that count both for and against applying this label, which I investigate here. I conclude that, if we can conceive of a deliberative democracy that is not informed by a social epistemology that relies on Reason; if we can conceive of a deliberative democracy that has a wider view of reason and of reasons than is traditionally understood, then we can think of Rorty as a deliberativist; perhaps as a virtue deliberativist with an expansive idea of what counts a reason and what counts as a virtue.

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