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Social Philosophy Today

Volume 25, 2009

Gender, Diversity, and Difference

Shane Ralston
Pages 223-240

Deweyan Democracy and Pluralism
A Reunion

What Talisse refers to as his “pluralist objection” states that Deweyan democracy, or John Dewey’s theory of democracy as contemporary Dewey scholars understand it, resembles a thick account, that is, a theory establishing a set of prior restraints on the values that can count as legitimate within a democratic community, and thus is incompatible with pluralism, at least insofar as contemporary political theorists define that term. In this paper, I argue that by undermining the pluralist objection, a reunion of Deweyan democracy and pluralism—two ideas that have been torn asunder by Talisse’s misreading of Dewey and Deweyans—becomes possible.

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