Beyond moral disagreement: on Neopragmatist accounts about reason and democracy

Paolo Monti

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The rational character of the political sphere largely relies upon the idea that it is effectively possible to provide rational justification to some fundamental principles of social normativity. Contemporary democratic forms of political life, in particular, are grounded upon the existence of a shared public discourse as the epistemic environment where a fair exercise of citizens’ representation, the active support for specific policies and the reasoned application of laws find their appropriate grounding. Within these last decades, though, the widespread pluralistic character of modern societies has been often identified as a major challenge to the stability and effectiveness of liberal democracies. This scenario can be at least partially explained as the joint effect of the increasing complexity of contemporary plural societies and the decreasing cultural credit given to the justificatory power of practical reason. Political and moral philosophy have been widely engaged with this issue and since the 90s the scene has been taken by a major debate between liberal and communitarian perspectives, characterized by a variety of articulated re-interpretations of the Aristotelian, Kantian and Utilitarian traditions. Among some the most recent elaborations, though, there has been also a significant return of philosophical views inspired by the Pragmatist tradition. Most notably, the work of Robert Talisse and J. Caleb Clanton has focused on an renewed attention to Peirce to bring about new ways to look at the issue of deep moral disagreement in democratic debate. I am here considering the views expressed by these two authors in their recent works Democracy and Moral Conflict and Religion and Democratic Citizenship , while also taking into consideration some others of their works which positively contribute to shape the setting of their stance.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteThe whole breadth of reason: rethinking economy and politics
Numero di pagine16
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012
Pubblicato esternamente


  • Moral disagreement
  • Neopragmatism
  • Public reason
  • Rationality


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