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Discursive optimism defended

Lepoutre, M. ORCID: (2023) Discursive optimism defended. Politics, Philosophy and Economics, 22 (3). pp. 357-374. ISSN 1741-3060

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/1470594X231179665


This article defends the democratic ideal of inclusive public discourse, as articulated in Democratic Speech in Divided Times, against the critiques offered by Billingham, Fraser, and Hannon. Specifically, it considers and responds to three core challenges. The first challenge argues, notably, that the “shared reasons” constraint should either apply everywhere or not at all, and that, if this constraint is to apply in divided circumstances, its justificatory constituency must be idealized. The second challenge contends that the resistance of hate speech and misinformation to counterspeech cannot adequately be explained by considerations of salience, and therefore cannot adequately by countered (as I suggest) by “positive” forms of counterspeech. Finally, the last challenge objects that the ideal of inclusive public discourse I defend remains, as pessimists allege, excessively idealistic.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:112036


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