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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Democratic Self-Determination And The Intentional Building Of Consensus, Valeria Ottonelli Apr 2019

Democratic Self-Determination And The Intentional Building Of Consensus, Valeria Ottonelli

Journal of Public Deliberation

This paper defends two fundamental but under-theorized insights coming from the theory of deliberative democracy. The first is that consensus is valuable as a precondition of democratic collective self-determination, since it ensures that democratic decisions display an adequate degree of integrity and consistency and therefore that the polity can act as a unified agent. The second is that consensus in this integrity-building role is essential if citizens need to act as decision-makers; it ensures that the decisions that issue from the exercise of their political rights are meaningful, and that they are so as the intended result of their joint ...


Exit, Voice, And Public Reason, Kevin Vallier Aug 2018

Exit, Voice, And Public Reason, Kevin Vallier

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Public reason liberals appeal to public deliberation to ensure that a legal order can be publicly justified to its citizens. I argue that this voice mechanism should be supplemented by exit mechanisms. By allowing citizens to exit legal orders they believe cannot be publicly justified, citizens can pressure states to change their laws. This exit pressure is sometimes more effective than deliberation. I explore federalism as an exit mechanism that can help public deliberation establish a publicly justified polity.


Term Accountability, Adam White Jun 2018

Term Accountability, Adam White

Adam White

Democratic constitutions allow citizens to hold officeholders accountable via election. Legislative elections are typically held either by the calendar or at the legislature’s own discretion, i.e., “no confidence”. But both are inferior to a third option: having citizens decide when the next election will be. This procedure, “Term Accountability”, optimally aligns policymaker motivations with citizen interests. Ideally, pathological legislatures would serve short terms while productive legislatures would serve long terms.

Our generation is familiar with contesting and perfecting constitutional practices as they pertain to citizen rights. But there is an apparent intellectual bias against institutional revision. This supports ...


Democracy And Scientific Expertise: Illusions Of Political And Epistemic Inclusion, J.D. Trout Jan 2018

Democracy And Scientific Expertise: Illusions Of Political And Epistemic Inclusion, J.D. Trout

J.D. Trout

Realizing the ideal of democracy requires political inclusion for citizens. A legitimate democracy must give citizens the opportunity to express their attitudes about the relative attractions of different policies, and access to political mechanisms through which they can be counted and heard. Actual governance often aims not at accurate belief, but at nonepistemic factors like achieving and maintaining institutional stability, creating the feeling of government legitimacy among citizens, or managing access to influence on policy decision-making. I examine the traditional relationship between inclusiveness and accuracy, and illustrate this connection by discussing empirical work on how group decision-making can improve accuracy ...


Two Concepts Of Education, Vikramaditya H. Joshi Jan 2018

Two Concepts Of Education, Vikramaditya H. Joshi

Senior Projects Spring 2018

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.

The foundation of the current discourse on education is grounded in the funding and distribution of a ‘good’ called education. The Common Core State Standards, as a set of shared goals stipulated by the federal government, considers education to be a “stepping stone” towards joining the workforce in a competitive global marketplace. The lexicon of economic commodities instrumentalizes education due to its tacit assumption that education is a means to an occupational end. It treats education as an individual possession deposited by a school, via its teachers, into ...


Education As Democratic Persuasion: Addressing Systemic Inequalities In Brettschneider's Value Democracy, Kyla L. Eastling Jan 2018

Education As Democratic Persuasion: Addressing Systemic Inequalities In Brettschneider's Value Democracy, Kyla L. Eastling

CMC Senior Theses

In Corey Brettschneider’s book, Democratic Rights: The Substance of Self- Government, he builds the value theory of democracy wherein procedural and substantive rights are both grounded in the core values of democracy. In his second book, When the State Speaks, What Should It Say? How Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality, Brettschneider elaborates on his theory to provide an account of how a liberal democracy can address hateful and discriminatory views. In response to both theories, critics have charged that the ideal value democracy does not sufficiently account for systemic inequalities that women and black citizens face. In ...


Political Philosophy Of The Impossible: Authority, Domination, And Social Movements, Ryan Lam Jan 2018

Political Philosophy Of The Impossible: Authority, Domination, And Social Movements, Ryan Lam

Honors Theses

Following the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong was what first led me to explore topics of authority and domination. In exploring these topics through the Umbrella Movement, I conducted a series of interview researches with people who have participated in the movement in order to acquire first-hand information. These interviews are then connected to the theoretical ideas of the philosophers I discuss. Using Bakunin and Godwin’s understandings of authority, a synthesis of Plumwood and Clark’s critiques of domination, and the anti-authoritarian philosophies of Kropotkin, Malatesta, and Dewey, I explore in this work different forms of domination that stem ...


Sins Against Democracy, David Marcou Nov 2017

Sins Against Democracy, David Marcou

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

No abstract provided.


American Populism Shouldn’T Have To Embrace Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola Nov 2017

American Populism Shouldn’T Have To Embrace Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Public ignorance is an inherent threat to democracy. It breeds superstition, prejudice, and error; and it prevents both a clear-eyed understanding of the world and the formulation of wise policies to adapt to that world.

Plato believed it was more than a threat: He thought it characterized democracies, and would lead them inevitably into anarchy and ultimately tyranny. But the liberal democracies of the modern era, grudgingly extending suffrage, have extended public education in parallel, in the hope of cultivating an informed citizenry. Yet today, given the persistence and severity of public ignorance, the ideal of an enlightened electorate seems ...


Democratic Rights And The Choice Of Economic Systems, Jeppe Von Platz Nov 2017

Democratic Rights And The Choice Of Economic Systems, Jeppe Von Platz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Holt argues that Rawls’s first principle of justice requires democratic control of the economy and that property owning democracy fails to satisfy this requirement; only liberal socialism is fully democratic. However, the notion of democratic control is ambiguous,and Holt has to choose between the weaker notion of democratic control that Rawls is committed to and the stronger notion that property owning democracy fails to satisfy. It may be that there is a tension between capitalism and democracy, so that only liberal socialism can be fully democratic, but if so, we should reject, rather than argue from, the theory ...


The Public Sphere As Site Of Emancipation And Enlightenment: A Discourse Theoretic Critique Of Digital Communication, David Ingram, Asaf Bar-Tura Sep 2017

The Public Sphere As Site Of Emancipation And Enlightenment: A Discourse Theoretic Critique Of Digital Communication, David Ingram, Asaf Bar-Tura

David Ingram

Habermas claims that an inclusive public sphere is the only deliberative forum for generating public opinion that satisfies the epistemic and normative conditions underlying legitimate decision-making. He adds that digital technologies and other mass media need not undermine – but can extend – rational deliberation when properly instituted. This paper draws from social epistemology and technology studies to demonstrate the epistemic and normative limitations of this extension. We argue that current online communication structures fall short of satisfying the required epistemic and normative conditions. Furthermore, the extent to which Internet-based communications contribute to legitimate democratic opinion and will formation depends on the ...


Tempered Experience: The Educational Foundation Of Democratic Ideology, Nicholas J. Schwarm Apr 2017

Tempered Experience: The Educational Foundation Of Democratic Ideology, Nicholas J. Schwarm

The Review: A Journal of Undergraduate Student Research

Democracy is a political ideology, one that requires a person to believe in that ideology for it to exist. The contemporary political landscape is dominated by democracies, and for this reason we need to understand how to build and sustain them. There needs to be a well-educated populace of citizens, who are able to engage in democratic actions, and aid the community. What they need is tempered experience, experience that is understood though the knowledge that a citizen already has.


2017 Mlk Keynote Emory Douglas Educational Foldout, Social Equity + Inclusion Office, Emory Douglas Jan 2017

2017 Mlk Keynote Emory Douglas Educational Foldout, Social Equity + Inclusion Office, Emory Douglas

Martin Luther King, Jr. Series

Educational foldout for the 2017 MLK Keynote Address: Emory Douglas. An artist, educator and human rights activist, Emory Douglas served as the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967-80. Best known for his political drawings and cartoons in the Black Panther Newspaper, he articulated the injustices experienced by African Americans living in the inner city, the growing militancy and organization among urban black youth in the face of police violence and the need for community-based social programs. 2017 MLK Keynote, Emory Douglas discusses the process, meaning and impact of his artwork then and now.


2017 Mlk Keynote Emory Douglas Program, Social Equity + Inclusion Office, Emory Douglas Jan 2017

2017 Mlk Keynote Emory Douglas Program, Social Equity + Inclusion Office, Emory Douglas

Martin Luther King, Jr. Series

Program for the 2017 MLK Keynote Address: Emory Douglas. An artist, educator and human rights activist, Emory Douglas served as the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967-80. Best known for his political drawings and cartoons in the Black Panther Newspaper, he articulated the injustices experienced by African Americans living in the inner city, the growing militancy and organization among urban black youth in the face of police violence and the need for community-based social programs. 2017 MLK Keynote, Emory Douglas discusses the process, meaning and impact of his artwork then and now.


The Priority Of Democracy To Education Research, Kevin Murray Jan 2017

The Priority Of Democracy To Education Research, Kevin Murray

School of Education Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This dissertation comprises three independent but related papers (chapters 2-4), framed by an introduction (chapter 1) and a conclusion (chapter 5). The main theme of the work is that democracy should be seen as foundational to – prior to – education research. Drawing on pragmatism and feminist philosophy of science, I make the case that democracy is threaded into the constitutive fabric of good education research and, indeed, of good social science in general. The benefits of democratic values for education research are at once ethical and epistemic. Education research suffers when it is not thoroughly permeated by democratic values. But many ...


The Priority Of Democracy To Education Research, Kevin Murray Jan 2017

The Priority Of Democracy To Education Research, Kevin Murray

School of Education Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This dissertation comprises three independent but related papers (chapters 2-4), framed by an introduction (chapter 1) and a conclusion (chapter 5). The main theme of the work is that democracy should be seen as foundational to – prior to – education research. Drawing on pragmatism and feminist philosophy of science, I make the case that democracy is threaded into the constitutive fabric of good education research and, indeed, of good social science in general. The benefits of democratic values for education research are at once ethical and epistemic. Education research suffers when it is not thoroughly permeated by democratic values. But many ...


The Legitimate State: Pride, Compassion, And Self-Representation, Miles Davidson Macnaughton Cree Jan 2017

The Legitimate State: Pride, Compassion, And Self-Representation, Miles Davidson Macnaughton Cree

Senior Projects Spring 2017

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.


Sharing Nature: Rival Visions Of Environmental Discourse, Charles B. Hayes Jan 2017

Sharing Nature: Rival Visions Of Environmental Discourse, Charles B. Hayes

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

In this paper I compare and evaluate the work of Steven Vogel, Akeel Bilgrami, and Jedediah Purdy regarding the place of normative conceptions of nature in political discourse. I argue that it is not in principle undemocratic, nor is it theoretically illegitimate, nor domineering to hold and express ideas involving normative conceptions of nature. On the contrary, it is often exemplary political discourse, well suited for deeply questioning our impact on the world and for inspiring collective change.


Tempered Experience: The Educational Foundation Of Democratic Ideology, Nicholas J. Schwarm Dec 2016

Tempered Experience: The Educational Foundation Of Democratic Ideology, Nicholas J. Schwarm

Philosophy Undergraduate

Democracy is a political ideology, one that requires a person to believe in that ideology for it to exist. The contemporary political landscape is dominated by democracies, and for this reason we need to understand how to build and sustain Them. There needs to be a well educated populace of citizens, who are able to engage in democratic actions, and aid the community. What they need is tempered experience, experience that is understood though the knowledge that a citizen already has.


Poetic Witness In A Networked Age, Jerome D. Clarke Oct 2016

Poetic Witness In A Networked Age, Jerome D. Clarke

Student Publications

When online videos mobilize protestors to occupy public spaces, and those protestors incorporate hashtags in their chants and markered placards, deliberative democratic theory must no longer dismiss technology and peoples historically excluded from the arena of politics. Specifically, political models must account for the role of repetition in paving the way for unheard and unseen messages and people to appear in the political arena. Drawing on Judith Butler’s theory of the Performative and Hannah Arendt’s Space of Appearance, this paper assesses that critical and generative role of iteration. Repeating unheeded acts performs the capacity for those acts to ...


Book Review: Democracy, Culture, Catholicism: Voices From Four Continents, Edited By Michael Schuck And John Crowley-Buck, Joy Gordon Sep 2016

Book Review: Democracy, Culture, Catholicism: Voices From Four Continents, Edited By Michael Schuck And John Crowley-Buck, Joy Gordon

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

A review of Democracy, Culture, Catholicism: Voices from Four Continents edited by Michael Schuck and John Crowley-Buck.


Moral Virtue, Civic Virtue, And Pluralism, Stephen C. Angle Aug 2016

Moral Virtue, Civic Virtue, And Pluralism, Stephen C. Angle

Stephen C. Angle

Kim Sungmoon’s Confucian Democracy in East Asia: Theory and Practice makes many important contributions to our understanding of what is at stake in thinking of Confucianism as a viable political theory in the modern world. One of the book’s most interesting features is its grounding in the on-going practice of Confucianism in South Korea, on the one hand, and yet its emphasis on pluralism within Korean society, on the other.[1] Kim thus aims to describe and defend a polity that, while not relying on its citizens’ unanimous acceptance of Confucianism as comprehensive doctrine, nonetheless can legitimately maintain ...


Natural Law And Agonistic Pluralism, Daniel E. Young Jan 2016

Natural Law And Agonistic Pluralism, Daniel E. Young

Northwestern Review

John Rawls’ account of political liberalism posits the necessity of a metaphysically neutral “public reason” to avoid privileging any comprehensive doctrine in the public square. The natural law tradition has been claimed by some as meeting this standard. However, thinkers such as Tracey Rowland criticize the attempt to make natural law a secular, neutral ground; she believes it must be rooted in an overtly Trinitarian and Christological theology. However, such theological assumptions are not shared by those of other comprehensive doctrines. Chantal Mouffe has also challenged Rawls’ consensus conception, focusing rather on the inevitable ideological conflicts to be found in ...


Habermas And Public Reason In The Digital Age: Technology And Deliberative Democracy, Asaf Bar-Tura Jan 2016

Habermas And Public Reason In The Digital Age: Technology And Deliberative Democracy, Asaf Bar-Tura

Dissertations

Scholars defending the deliberative model of democracy have focused much of their attention on argumentation and criteria for offering public reasons in deliberative processes, but have paid little attention to the ways in which digital technologies mediate such deliberations. Conversely, critical theorists of technology have emphasized the socially determined nature of technology, but have lacked a theory of democracy through which to normatively assess technologies that mediate public discourse. Through a reworking of Jürgen Habermas’s discourse-based theory of democracy, my research provides a new understanding of the flows of political communication and power in the democratic public sphere and ...


The Somewhere We Wish Were Nowhere: Dystopian Realities And (Un)Democratic Imaginaries, Benjamin B. Taylor Jan 2016

The Somewhere We Wish Were Nowhere: Dystopian Realities And (Un)Democratic Imaginaries, Benjamin B. Taylor

Senior Independent Study Theses

How do political practices influence mass culture? Conversely, how does mass culture influence political practice? This project addresses these questions by turning to the concepts of utopia and dystopia. Imagined utopic and dystopic visions express both the hopes and anxieties of the societies producing them. Dystopias also highlight the mechanisms of power that function within particular social orders. Through readings of Lois Lowry’s The Giver and Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, I demonstrate how utopia and dystopia function and how we can respond to dystopic realities by theorizing solutions that are more conducive to ...


The Ultimate Irony: An Information Age Without Librarians, Dawn S. Ady Jan 2016

The Ultimate Irony: An Information Age Without Librarians, Dawn S. Ady

UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In this thesis, the continuing relevance of the profession of librarianship in the digital age is explored and assessed. After defining the library as information itself, the thesis establishes that electronic formats replacing printed matter is not an indication of libraries becoming extinct. Further, various aspects of the profession of librarianship—including library ethics, information extraction skills, and information literacy instruction—are discussed. Additionally, the potential for librarians to play an important role in a largely “jobless” society (as forecast by some experts and scholars as well as in a recent Oxford University study) is evaluated. Finally, a proposal is ...


Deleuze, Haraway, And The Radical Democracy Of Desire, Robert Leston Oct 2015

Deleuze, Haraway, And The Radical Democracy Of Desire, Robert Leston

Publications and Research

In response to suggestions that Deleuze and Guattari are the “enemy” of companion species, this essay explores the tension between Donna Haraway’s attacks against Deleuze and Guattari and their philosophy of becoming animal. The essay goes on to contextualize Deleuze and Guattari’s statements against pet owners through a discussion of the psychoanalytical refiguration of desire and shows how their ostensible attack against pet owners fits into their larger critique against capitalism. The essay illustrates why Deleuze and Guattari and Haraway are more in agreement than first meets the eye, finding commensurability through Haraway’s early work on embryology ...


The Ethics Of Legislative Vote Trading, John Thrasher Apr 2015

The Ethics Of Legislative Vote Trading, John Thrasher

Philosophy Faculty Articles and Research

It is argued in this article that legislative vote trading by representatives is both ethically permissible and may be ethically required in many cases. This conclusion is an implication of a thin, general account of representation that requires representatives to vote on the basis of the perceived preferences or interests of their constituents. These special duties arise from a thin account of representation and create a weak, defeasible duty for representatives to engage in what they believe will be beneficial vote trades. After establishing this claim, the article considers two objections to this duty. One is based on equating legislative ...


Illusory Democracy: A Platonic Examination Of Perception, Opinion, And Neoliberalism, Gregory A. Palmer Apr 2015

Illusory Democracy: A Platonic Examination Of Perception, Opinion, And Neoliberalism, Gregory A. Palmer

Senior Theses and Projects

This thesis sets out to define and investigate the problem of "Illusory Democracy" as well as, how it relates to the modern American political system. This thesis uses Plato, through a Straussian lens, to interpret and analyze the nature, causes, and possible solutions to this modern problem facing the American democratic system.


The Fragility Of Things: Self-Organizing Processes, Neoliberal Fantasies, And Democratic Activism By William E. Connolly, Brian Mccormack Feb 2015

The Fragility Of Things: Self-Organizing Processes, Neoliberal Fantasies, And Democratic Activism By William E. Connolly, Brian Mccormack

The Goose

Review of William E. Connolly's The Fragility of Things: Self-Organizing Processes, Neoliberal Fantasies, and Democratic Activism.