Volume 20, Issue 3, 2020
On Pietroski’s Conjoining Meanings
John B. Min
Two Concepts of the Epistemic Value of Public Deliberation
Epistemic justifi cation is necessary for deliberative democracy, yet there is a question about what we mean by the concept of epistemic values of public deliberation. According to one reading, the epistemic value of public deliberation implies a procedure’s ability to achieve a correct outcome, as judged by a procedure-independent standard of correctness. As I shall show in this paper, however, there is another reading of the "epistemic" value of public deliberation extant in the literature: Epistemic values are constitutive of a deliberative process as an exchange of reasons. If the distinction between two concepts of epistemic values of public deliberation holds, then we can re-conceptualize the relationship between procedural fairness, epistemic values, and legitimacy. Thus, a concept of legitimacy that combines procedural fairness and a procedure-independent standard of correctness on the one hand, versus one that combines procedural fairness and the constitutive epistemic value of deliberation on the other hand.