Res Publica

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 179–198 | Cite as

Citizenship and Political Judgment: Between Discourse Ethics and Phronesis

  • Ricardo Blaug


Political judgment is notoriously hard to theorise, and in the recent debates surrounding Habermas's discourse ethics we encounter classic disagreements around the nature, operation and validity of such judgments. This paper evaluates Habermas's account of political judgment and explores the problems raised by his critics. It then focuses on the contentious role played by universals within his account. What emerges is a reformulated theory of judgment based on the thin universalism of fair deliberation, and a description of a sub-set of judgments, termed ``democratic judgments'', which are oriented to the preservation of democracy.

deliberation democracy discourse ethics Habermas justification Kant Neo-Aristotelianism political judgment reflective judgment Wittgenstein 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Blaug
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Politics & International StudiesUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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