- The ideal and reality of epistemic proceduralism
- Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
- Volume | Issue number
- 20 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
The complex debate about proceduralism in deliberative democratic theory is important for understanding alternative models for bridging theory and practice. In this article, I contrast Jürgen Habermas’ model of epistemic proceduralism with that of David Estlund. I begin by locating the differences between them in terms of contrasting interpretations of Rousseau’s idea of the general will. On this basis, I set out two competing models of democratic proceduralism – an instrumental conception and a constitutive conception – and show how Estlund’s critique of Habermas’ procedural theory of ‘deep deliberative democracy’ mistakenly presupposes that Habermas is committed to an instrumental conception. After clarifying the role of Habermas’ ideal speech situation, I explicate and defend a Habermasian model of reflexive epistemic proceduralism. I conclude by considering the implications of this model for understanding the relationship between normative theory and empirical research.
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