Philosophy and Politics - Critical Explorations

Knowing Democracy – A Pragmatist Account of the Epistemic Dimension in Democratic Politics

Authors: Räber, Michael Ivo

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  • Explores the scope and limits of the concept of epistemic democracy and shows the relevance of a normative and aesthetic understanding of democratic judgments
  • Establishes an original pragmatist conception of democratic judgment that blends the epistemic and the aesthetic aspects of the making of political judgments
  • Brings together for the first time debates on epistemic democracy, aesthetic judgment and pragmatist social epistemology
  • Focuses on a compelling topic within democratic theory and practice, as it is informed by an understanding of democratic theory in all its relevant aspects 
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eBook 74,89 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-53258-1
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Hardcover 93,59 €
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About this book

How can we justify democracy’s trust in the political judgments of ordinary people? In Knowing Democracy, Michael Räber situates this question between two dominant alternative paradigms of thinking about the reflective qualities of democratic life: on the one hand, recent epistemic theories of democracy, which are based on the assumption that political participation promotes truth, and, on the other hand, theories of political judgment that are indebted to Hannah Arendt’s aesthetic conception of political judgment. By foregrounding the concept of political judgment in democracies, the book shows that a democratic theory of political judgments based on John Dewey’s pragmatism can navigate the shortcomings of both these paradigms. While epistemic theories are overly and narrowly rationalistic and Arendtian theories are overly aesthetic, the neo-Deweyan conception of political judgment proposed in this book suggests a third path that combines the rationalist and the aesthetic elements of political conduct in a way that goes beyond a merely epistemic or a merely aesthetic conception of political judgment in democracy. The justification for democracy’s trust in ordinary people’s political judgments, Räber argues, resides in an egalitarian conception of democratic inquiry that blends the epistemic and the aesthetic aspects of the making of political judgments.

By offering a rigorous scholarly analysis of the epistemic and aesthetic foundations of democracy from a pragmatist perspective, Knowing Democracy contributes to the current debates in political epistemology and aesthetics and politics, both of which ask about the appropriate reflective and experiential circumstances of democratic politics. The book brings together for the first time debates on epistemic democracy, aesthetic judgment and those on pragmatist social epistemology, and establishes an original pragmatist conception of epistemic democracy.

About the authors

Michael I. Räber is a post-doctoral visiting researcher at the Department of Political Science, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Zurich (Switzerland). His research has been mainly focused on theories of democracy (politics and aesthetics, deliberative theory and political epistemology), political pragmatism, philosophy of art, and the history of political thought.

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 74,89 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-53258-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase and usable on all devices
  • Bulk discounts available
Hardcover 93,59 €
price for Spain (gross)
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Knowing Democracy – A Pragmatist Account of the Epistemic Dimension in Democratic Politics
Authors
Series Title
Philosophy and Politics - Critical Explorations
Series Volume
14
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-53258-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-53258-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-53257-4
Series ISSN
2352-8370
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 211
Number of Illustrations
2 b/w illustrations
Topics