•  505
    Still Searching for a Pragmatist Pluralism
    Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 41 (1). 2005.
    Talisse and Aikin reply to Critics
  •  294
    Epistemic Abstainers, Epistemic Martyrs, and Epistemic Converts
    with Scott F. Aikin and Michael Harbour
    Logos and Episteme 1 (2): 211-219. 2010.
    An intuitive view regarding the epistemic significance of disagreement says that when epistemic peers disagree, they should suspend judgment. This abstemious view seems to embody a kind of detachment appropriate for rational beings; moreover, it seems to promote a kind of conciliatory inclination that makes for irenic and cooperative further discussion. Like many strategies for cooperation, however, the abstemious view creates opportunities for free-riding. In this essay, the authors argue that …Read more
  •  230
    Nagel on Public Education and Intelligent Design
    with Scott F. Aikin and Michael Harbour
    Journal of Philosophical Research 35 209-219. 2010.
    In a recent article, Thomas Nagel argues against the court’s decision to strike down the Dover school district’s requirement that biology teachers in Dover public schools inform their students about Intelligent Design. Nagel contends that this ruling relies on questionable demarcation between science and nonscience and consequently misapplies the Establishment Clause of the constitution. Instead, he argues in favor of making room for an open discussion of these issues rather than an outright pro…Read more
  •  190
    Impunity and domination: A puzzle for republicanism
    European Journal of Political Theory 13 (2): 121-131. 2014.
    Republicans hold that freedom is non-domination rather than non-interference. This entails that any instance of interference that does not involve domination is not freedom-lessening. The case for thinking of freedom as non-domination proceeds mostly by way of a handful of highly compelling cases in which it seems intuitive to say of some person that he or she is unfree despite being in fact free from interference. In this essay, I call attention to a kind of case which directs attention to what…Read more
  •  178
    Towards a Peircean Politics of Inquiry
    Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 40 (1). 2004.
  •  146
    For well over a decade, much of liberal political theory has accepted the founding premise of Rawls's political liberalism, according to which the fact of reasonable pluralism renders comprehensive versions of liberalism incoherent. However, the founding premise presumes that all comprehensive doctrines are moral doctrines. In this essay, the author builds upon recent work by Allen Buchanan and develops a comprehensive version of liberalism based in a partially comprehensive social epistemic doc…Read more
  •  140
    Value Pluralism and Liberal Politics
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (1): 87-100. 2011.
    Contemporary Neo-Berlinians contend that value pluralism is the best account of the moral universe we inhabit; they also contend that value pluralism provides a powerful case for liberalism. In this paper, I challenge both claims. Specifically, I will examine the arguments offered in support of value pluralism; finding them lacking, I will then offer some reasons for thinking that value pluralism is not an especially promising view of our moral universe
  •  132
    From pragmatism to perfectionism: Cheryl Misak's epistemic deliberativism
    Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (3): 387-406. 2007.
    In recent work, Cheryl Misak has developed a novel justification of deliberative democracy rooted in Peircean epistemology. In this article, the author expands Misak's arguments to show that not only does Peircean pragmatism provide a justification for deliberative democracy that is more compelling than the justifications offered by competing liberal and discursivist views, but also fixes a specific conception of deliberative politics that is perfectionist rather than neutralist. The article con…Read more
  •  128
    Precis of a pragmatist philosophy of democracy
    Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 45 (1). 2009.
    This short paper summarizes the main line of argument in my book, *A Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy* (Routledge, 2007), which is the subject of a forthcoming symposium issue of the journal *Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society*.
  •  103
    Clarifying Cohen: A Response to Jubb and Hall
    Res Publica 19 (4): 371-379. 2013.
    In this brief essay, we clarify Cohen’s ‘Facts and Principles’ argument, and then argue that the objections posed by two recent critiques of Cohen—Robert Jubb (Res Publica 15:337–353, 2009) and Edward Hall (Res Publica 19:173–181, 2013)—look especially vulnerable to the charge of being self-defeating. It may still be that Cohen’s view concerning facts and principles is false. Our aim here is merely to show that two recent attempts to demonstrate its falsity are unlikely to succeed
  •  102
    Does Value Pluralism Entail Liberalism?
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (3): 303-320. 2010.
    Isaiah Berlin repeatedly attempted to derive liberalism from value pluralism. It is generally agreed that Berlin 's arguments fail; however, neo-Berlinians have taken up the project of securing the entailment. This paper begins with an account of why the Berlinian project seems attractive to contemporary theorists. I then examine Berlin 's argument. With this background in place, I argue that recent attempts by William Galston and George Crowder to rescue the Berlinian project do not succeed.
  •  102
    Modus tonens
    Argumentation 22 (4): 521-529. 2008.
    Restating an interlocutor’s position in an incredulous tone of voice can sometimes serve legitimate dialectical ends. However, there are cases in which incredulous restatement is out of bounds. This article provides an analysis of one common instance of the inappropriate use of incredulous restatement, which the authors call “modus tonens.” The authors argue that modus tonens is vicious because it pragmatically implicates the view that one’s interlocutor is one’s cognitive subordinate and provid…Read more
  •  86
    Rockmore on analytic pragmatism
    Metaphilosophy 39 (2): 155-162. 2008.
    Aikin and Talisse reply to Rockmore's case against the 'analytic pragmatist' tradition.
  •  85
    Pluralism and liberal democracy
    Social Theory and Practice 33 (1): 151-158. 2007.
  •  85
    Two Forms of the Straw Man
    Argumentation 20 (3): 345-352. 2006.
    The authors identify and offer an analysis of a new form of the Straw Man fallacy, and then explore the implications of the prevalence of this fallacy for contemporary political discourse
  •  83
    Book reviews (review)
    No one wishing to possess a concise yet conceptually comprehensive account of the questions bedeviling liberalism—all topics are tracked with a fine bibliography—will be disappointed with Robert B. Talisse’s Democracy After Liberalism. While special attention is given to liberalism’s theoretical and practical relations with democracy and citizenship, widely documented troubles within historically democratic cultures motivate and contextualize the analysis. Since we need “a deliberative account o…Read more
  •  83
    Does public ignorance defeat deliberative democracy?
    Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 16 (4): 455-463. 2004.
    Abstract Richard Posner and Ilya Somin have recently posed forceful versions of a common objection to deliberative democracy, the Public Ignorance Objection. This objection holds that demonstrably high levels of public ignorance render deliberative democracy practically impossible. But the public?ignorance data show that the public is ignorant in a way that does not necessarily defeat deliberative democracy. Posner and Somin have overestimated the force of the Public Ignorance Objection, so the …Read more
  •  80
    Evolution, Intelligent Design and Public Education: A Comment on Thomas Nagel
    with Scott Aikin and Michael Harbour
    Spontaneous Generations 3 (1): 35-40. 2009.
    Thomas Nagel recently proposed that the exclusion of Intelligent Design from science classrooms is inappropriate and that there needs to be room for “noncommittal discussion.” It is shown that Nagel’s policy proposals do not ?t the conclusions of his arguments
  •  79
    In a recent article, Iris Marion Young raises several challenges to deliberative democracy on behalf of political activists. In this paper, the author defends a version of deliberative democracy against the activist challenges raised by Young and devises challenges to activism on behalf of the deliberative democrat.
  •  78
    Teaching Plato’s Euthyphro Dialogically
    Teaching Philosophy 26 (2): 163-175. 2003.
    If one interprets Plato’s dialogues using the dialogical mode, then the principal philosophical significance of the work is not exhausted by the arguments put forward by its characters. Integral to the dialogical mode involves a consideration of the purpose of investigating a philosophical issue in the form of a dialogue rather than a treatise. But Plato’s dialogues should not only be understood in a dialogical mode but instructors should also teach using this mode of interrogation. This paper d…Read more
  •  77
    Contemporary liberal democracy employs a conception of legitimacy according to which political decisions and institutions must be at least in principle justifiable to all citizens. This conception of legitimacy is difficult to satisfy when citizens are deeply divided at the level of fundamental moral, religious, and philosophical commitments. Many have followed the later Rawls in holding that where a reasonable pluralism of such commitments persists, political justification must eschew appeal to…Read more
  •  77
    Deliberativist responses to activist challenges: A continuation of young’s dialectic
    Philosophy and Social Criticism 31 (4): 423-444. 2005.
    In a recent article, Iris Marion Young raises several challenges to deliberative democracy on behalf of political activists. In this paper, the author defends a version of deliberative democracy against the activist challenges raised by Young and devises challenges to activism on behalf of the deliberative democrat. Key Words: activism • deliberative democracy • Discourse • Ideology • public sphere • I. M. Young
  •  76
    On the Supposed Tension in Peirce’s “Fixation of Belief”
    Journal of Philosophical Research 26 561-569. 2001.
    Recent commentaries on “The Fixation of Belief” have located and emphasized an inconsistency or “tension” in Peirce’s central argument. On the one hand, Peirce maintains that “the settlement of opinion is the sole object of inquiry”; on the other, he wants to establish that the method of science is superior to all other methods of inquiry. The tension arises from the fact that whereas Peirce dismisses the methods of tenacity, authority, and a priority on the grounds that they cannot fulfill the …Read more
  •  75
    Religion in politics: What's the problem?
    Think 12 (33): 65-73. 2013.
    ExtractA few years ago, I, an American, was giving a talk at a political philosophy conference in the United Kingdom. My topic was religion in democratic politics, and I delivered what I thought was a splendid line of argument supporting the idea that religion has at most a highly constrained role to play in democratic politics. The audience was appreciative enough, but during the question and answer session, there emerged the charge that my paper had addressed a uniquely ‘American’ problem, a p…Read more
  •  75
    Democracy After Liberalism (Routledge, 2005) argues for a non-liberal interpretation of democratic politics. The argument of the book moves in two stages. First, a case is made against liberalism, the dominant interpretation of democratic politics. I argue that liberalism suffers an internal tension between its conception of legitimacy and its neutralist stance towards the good; this internal tension manifests in palpable external social ills that liberalism cannot sufficiently remedy. Second, a…Read more
  •  65
    In introduce the concept of a "folk epistemology" and argue that norms arising from our folk epistemic commitments provide a compelling social epistemic justification for democratic political norms.
  •  65
    Two Democratic Hopes
    Contemporary Pragmatism 4 (2): 19-28. 2007.
    Robert Westbrook claims that pragmatist political theorists share a common hope for democracy. I argue that there are at least two distinct and opposed pragmatist conceptions of democracy - one Deweyan, the other Peircean - and thus two distinct and opposed hopes for democracy. I then criticize the Deweyan view and defend the Peircean view
  •  64
    Pragmatism a guide for the perplexed
    with Scott Aikin
    Continuum. 2008.
    The origins of pragmatism -- Pragmatism and epistemology -- Pragmatism and truth -- Pragmatism and metaphysics -- Pragmatism and ethics -- Pragmatism and politics -- Pragmatism and environmental ethics.
  •  64
    A farewell to Deweyan democracy: Towards a new pragmatist politics
    Political Studies 59 (3): 509-526. 2011.
    The revival of pragmatism has brought renewed enthusiasm for John Dewey's conception of democracy. Drawing upon Rawlsian concerns regarding the fact of reasonable pluralism, the author argues that Deweyan democracy is unworthy of resurrection. A modified version of Deweyan democracy recently proposed by Elizabeth Anderson is then taken up and also found to be lacking. Then the author proposes a model of democracy that draws upon Peirce's social epistemology. The result is a non-Deweyan but nonet…Read more