Completely Theorized Agreements. A Different Reading of the Consensus Paradox Hypotheses

Abstract

This article contributes to the debate on the consensus and deliberation. While the relevant literature claims that consensus undermines further deliberation, this article argues that it depends on the aim of the process. In particular, I argue that if the aim of deliberation is understood as reaching a certain epistemic level, reaching consensus does not need to decrease the rationality of the group. In short, such deliberation is a process of debate, reason-giving and listening which aims at establishing a result of certain epistemic value. In order to shed new light on the debates on the consequences of consensus for further deliberation, I introduce a detailed conceptualization of a full agreement. I call it Completely Theorized Agreements. In this article, I argue that reaching consensus in an epistemic setting does not need to have negative consequences. Further, I argue, that the truth-tracking quality of deliberation need not be worse in a group that reached a full consensus as opposed to a partial one.

Keywords

Truth, Consensus, Deliberation, Democracy

How to Cite

Wojciechowska M., (2019) “Completely Theorized Agreements. A Different Reading of the Consensus Paradox Hypotheses”, Journal of Public Deliberation 15(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/jdd.327

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Authors

Marta Wojciechowska (London School of Economics and Political Science)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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