In this book I address the widely debated topic of the legitimacy of democratic decisions showing that the traditional concept of the legitimacy of political authority developed by liberal theories involves dilemmatic outcomes. In order to solve this intrinsic tension of the liberal model of legitimacy, I argue that the legitimacy of political decisions must be granted with a two steps strategy that involves both ideal and non-ideal analysis. Starting from the models developed by John Rawls and Gerald Gaus, I build up my own paradigm, claiming that, pace Rawls, it is not possible to do away with an epistemic analysis of the actual circumstances of justification. I look at the epistemology of disagreement literature in order to build up an epistemic and procedural framework in which it could be shown that disagreement is not a practical obstacle that prevents participants from agreeing on virtually correct solutions; rather, it is exactly in virtue of the fact of disagreement that democracy is the best method for collective decisions. The heart of this proposal is that given certain epistemic circumstances (i.e. pervasive disagreement due to an opaque appraisal of evidence), it is possible to argue that participants within a collective decision-making setting should refer to each other as epistemic peers. This normative request inherits its value from a shared understanding of persons as being on an equal footing and capable of reasoning powers. This reading of political equality implies two related features of peerhood. One is the proceduralist tenet that equality is a non-instrumental value that should be expressed by the fact that any voice, in the political arena, should be given equal weight. The second is the idea that, assumed the fact of pluralism, citizens should be ready to share both practical and epistemic authority while publicly debating over evaluative matters. In the second part of the book I argue that democratic procedures of decision-making, in order to actually respect members of society as equal peers, and in the attempt to solve the dilemmatic outcomes of public reason models of legitimacy, should look at political agreements achieved through compromise rather than consensus. In fact, an overly idealized approach to collective-choice procedures may lose track of actual decision-making processes (lack of guidance). Moreover, seeking consensus, through the establishment of deliberative standards that some individuals or groups have fewer opportunities than others to fulfill may engender exclusion and inequality (lack of inclusion). Accordingly, I suggest that deliberative constraints should be loosened to include partisan and interested claims and to pursue principled compromises rather than consensual agreement. According to the model of legitimacy I defend, a normative account of democracy cannot rely on standards that could be only applied in an ideal context, otherwise this attempt will be doomed to fail in two ways: 1) delegitimizing actual democratic decision-making processes and 2) undermining the actual possibility to implement decisions reached through deliberation in real contexts.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.