Rational deliberation among experts and citizens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

112 Scopus citations


The point of democratic deliberation The primary purposes of democratic discussion and deliberation are to enhance our understanding of the interests of all the members of society and of how to advance those interests in a just and equitable way. It does this with an eye to making collective decisions, which have as their aim the equal advancement of the interests of the members of society. So the purpose of democratic discussion is epistemic and practical, it is to uncover facts about interests and equality and how best to pursue them for the purpose of making good collective decisions. The contents of democratic deliberation concern first, the interests of persons; second, the just way of accommodating the interests of persons; third, the means for advancing the interests of persons; and fourth, the consequences of these activities. Broadly speaking, then, democratic deliberation concerns the aims the society ought to pursue and the means and consequences of pursuing those aims. But democratic discussion pursues the goal of enhanced understanding in a particular way; it is constrained by a principle of justice, which asserts that this process of discovery must be pursued in an egalitarian way. It must be pursued in such a way that all have the opportunity to participate in influencing the process of discussion and the interests of all are properly taken into account. But most of all, it must be pursued in such a way that the distinct views and interests of every person are given a fair hearing in the process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDeliberative Systems
Subtitle of host publicationDeliberative Democracy at the Large Scale
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781139178914
ISBN (Print)9781107025394
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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