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The procedural epistemic value of deliberation


Collective deliberation is fuelled by disagreements and its epistemic value depends, inter alia, on how the participants respond to each other in disagreements. I use this accountability thesis to argue that deliberation may be valued not just instrumentally but also for its procedural features. The instrumental epistemic value of deliberation depends on whether it leads to more or less accurate beliefs among the participants. The procedural epistemic value of deliberation hinges on the relationships of mutual accountability that characterize appropriately conducted deliberation. I will argue that it only comes into view from the second-person standpoint. I shall explain what the second-person standpoint in the epistemic context entails and how it compares to Stephen Darwall’s interpretation of the second-person standpoint in ethics.


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Correspondence to Fabienne Peter.

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Peter, F. The procedural epistemic value of deliberation. Synthese 190, 1253–1266 (2013).

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  • Social epistemology
  • Proceduralism
  • Second-person standpoint