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Journal Article

Through “Thick” and “Thin”: Concerns about Talisse's Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy

Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society
Vol. 45, No. 1 (Winter 2009), pp. 80-89
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/tra.2009.45.1.80
Stable URL:
Page Count: 10
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Through “Thick” and “Thin”: Concerns about Talisse's Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy
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Abstract Robert Talisse argues that a Peircean epistemic basis for democracy is “thin” enough to allow for reasonable pluralism while being “thick” enough to justify the preferability of democracy. This brief critical engagement with Talisse's argument asks, first, whether or not it is fair to employ Peirce's doubt-belief model of inquiry as the basis of a “thin” philosophy of democracy. Additionally, it asks whether such a justification of democracy can do any real work without also employing Peirce's more comprehensive philosophical views concerning the conditions necessary for developing the epistemic character required for actual democratic practices. Lastly, it questions whether Talisse's philosophy of democracy is best called “Peircean” at all.

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