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Why democracy? Most often this question is met with an appeal to some decidedly moral value, such as equality, liberty, dignity or even peace. But in contemporary democratic societies, there is deep disagreement and conflict about the precise nature and relative worth of these values. And when democracy votes, some of those who lose will see the prevailing outcome as not merely disappointing, but morally intolerable. How should citizens react when confronted with a democratic result that they regard as intolerable? Should they revolt, or instead pursue democratic means of social change? In this book, Robert Talisse argues that each of us has reasons to uphold democracy - even when it makes serious moral errors - and that these reasons are rooted in our most fundamental epistemic commitments. His original and compelling study will be of interest to a wide range of readers in political philosophy and political theory.Read more
- Engages with contemporary political issues including abortion, same-sex marriage and the 'culture wars'
- Examines the state of popular political discourse including commentators such as Al Franken and Ann Coulter
- Written in an accessible and conversational style
Reviews & endorsements
"....In this book Talisse offers a timely and highly readable contribution to the debate surrounding moral pluralism in a democracy. Suitable for both academic audiences and the wider interested public, it carefully blends rigorous analysis of modern scholarship with an acute awareness of the state of today’s political culture and discourse...."
--Roberto Sirvent, Hope International University, Philosophy in Review
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"....Talisse's brief book is a minor masterpiece of concise argumentation in which he advances a genuinely novel defense of democracy.... powerful punch packed...."
--Terrence Ball, Arizona State University, Notre Dame Philosophical Review
"....This substantive yet compact book is highly engaging. It deserves sustained attention. It will be fascinating to see where the discussion of the important issues that Talisse addresses goes from here."
--Andrew F. Smith, Drexel University, Res Publica
"Robert Talisse’s Democracy and Moral Conflict presents a remarkably ambitious philosophical proposal.... Democracy and Moral Conflict is a highly accessible work, written in a wonderfully lucid manner with lively examples drawn from contemporary American politics."
--Simon Căbulea May, Virginia Tech, Ethics
"....Robert Talisse’s Democracy and Moral Conflict, however, is one of the few contributions that rolls up its sleeves and actually tries to do some epistemology. This creates an intriguing read for epistemologists and political philosophers alike."
--Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij, University of Copenhagen, The Philosophical Quarterly
"....Robert B. Talisse’s book, Democracy and Moral Conflict, remains one of the most important attempts to solve the problem of democratic legitimacy in the context of the pluralism that characterizes modern society. Unlike many other contemporary epistemic conceptions of democracy, which settle for more modest objectives, Talisse’s theory addresses the difficult task of offering a detailed epistemological explanation of what is the epistemic foundation of democracy and how it is supposed to work."
--Viorel Ţuţui, Logos & Episteme
"....instructive and points to a promising alternative to shared moral views. While the examples focus heavily on US politics, the book is clearly written in a way accessible even to a non-academic audience, and deserves attention from all concerned by the problem of apparently irreconcilable moral conflict."
--Ben Saunders, Law and Philosophy, University of Stirling, MIND
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- Date Published: February 2011
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521183901
- length: 216 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
- weight: 0.3kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. The problem of deep politics
2. Against the politics of omission
3. Folk epistemology
4. Justifying democracy
5. Epistemic perfectionism
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