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How to Enhance the Usefulness of Public Debates as a Support for Political Decision-Making
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Centre for Applied Ethics.
2004 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The objective for this study is to examine whether it is possible to use the method of reflective equilibrium in order to enhance the usefulness of public debates as a support for political decision-making. Since public debates from political quarters are seen as an important tool for policy-making, the need for a rational assessment of the views put forward in such debates are important. And since reflective equilibrium aims for coherence between judgments on different levels – intuitions, principles and theories, which all are put forward in public debates – the point of departure for this theses is that this method could be useful for the matter of bringing some kind of structure to public debates.

The analysis in this study shows that there actually are similarities between the method of reflective equilibrium and the course of public debates, since they both are characterized by the fact that viewpoints are mutually scrutinized in the light of one another. Further, it is argued that a more systematic applying of the method of reflective equilibrium would further the justification force of the outcome of public debates, since the method stresses the need of rationality and the importance of taking all relevant opinions into consideration. Therefore, the conclusion is that applying reflective equilibrium to public debates could make the political decision-making more democratic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Centrum för tillämpad etik , 2004. , 71 p.
Keyword [en]
public debates, reflective equilibrium, rational assessment, deliberative democracy, political decision making, justification
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-8034ISRN: LIU-CTE-AE-EX--04/06--SEOAI: diva2:22920
Available from: 2007-01-16 Created: 2007-01-16

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