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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

How Secular Should Democracy Be? A Cross-Disciplinary Study Of Catholicism And Islam In Promoting Public Reason, David Ingram, David Ingram Oct 2014

How Secular Should Democracy Be? A Cross-Disciplinary Study Of Catholicism And Islam In Promoting Public Reason, David Ingram, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

I argue that the same factors (strategic and principled) that motivated Catholicism to champion liberal democracy are the same that motivate 21st Century Islam to do the same. I defend this claim by linking political liberalism to democratic secularism. Distinguishing institutional, political, and epistemic dimensions of democratic secularism, I show that moderate forms of political and epistemic secularism are most conducive to fostering the kind of public reasoning essential to democratic legitimacy. This demonstration draws upon the ambivalent impact of Indonesia’s Islamic parties in advancing universal social justice aims as against more sectarian policies.


The Public Sphere As Site Of Emancipation And Enlightenment: A Discourse Theoretic Critique Of Digital Communication, David Ingram, Asaf Bar-Tura Jan 2014

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

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

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 ...