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Deliberative Civility
Unformatted Document Text:  less tolerant than others, perhaps even intolerant. A deliberative regime of toleration aims the reflexive feature of sharing a social space for judgment and yet also being able to challenge the limits and discriminations that are part of any regime and inevitably become a source of conflict and disagreement in diverse societies. A deliberative regime of civility sustaining this social space and must similarly be open to challenge. Both of these deliberative virtues are concerned with maintaining different features of public communication and interaction. First, toleration in a weak sense is directed towards the reasons that others offer in communication: they must be taken seriously and not disqualified ex ante (either in principle or in fact). When communicating with an audience as heterogeneous as the citizens of a large and pluralistic polity, such disqualification of a type of reason threatens the public character of political communication in which reasons are considered on their own merits. Being tolerant thus does not exclude criticism; it in fact demands it, since without it others will not form the expectation that their reasons as publicly expressed shaped the course of the debate. Taking reasons seriously is not all that deliberation requires. Civility is not concerned directly with the reasons as such but to the perspectives that inform these reasons and give them their cogency. Typically toleration in this sense is exercised toward a group. Before a reason can first be seen as a reason and then potentially as one that passes the critical scrutiny of all citizens, the perspectives of others and the experiences that inform them must be recognized as legitimate. In light of this inclusion of their perspective, groups recognize themselves as contributing to democratic decisions and thus develop the willingness to cooperate with others in making them. It may have other benefits, such as the ways in which informal norms of civility are needed for error

Authors: Bohman, James.
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less tolerant than others, perhaps even intolerant. A deliberative regime of toleration aims
the reflexive feature of sharing a social space for judgment and yet also being able to
challenge the limits and discriminations that are part of any regime and inevitably
become a source of conflict and disagreement in diverse societies. A deliberative regime
of civility sustaining this social space and must similarly be open to challenge.
Both of these deliberative virtues are concerned with maintaining different
features of public communication and interaction. First, toleration in a weak sense is
directed towards the reasons that others offer in communication: they must be taken
seriously and not disqualified ex ante (either in principle or in fact). When
communicating with an audience as heterogeneous as the citizens of a large and
pluralistic polity, such disqualification of a type of reason threatens the public character
of political communication in which reasons are considered on their own merits. Being
tolerant thus does not exclude criticism; it in fact demands it, since without it others will
not form the expectation that their reasons as publicly expressed shaped the course of the
debate. Taking reasons seriously is not all that deliberation requires. Civility is not
concerned directly with the reasons as such but to the perspectives that inform these
reasons and give them their cogency. Typically toleration in this sense is exercised
toward a group. Before a reason can first be seen as a reason and then potentially as one
that passes the critical scrutiny of all citizens, the perspectives of others and the
experiences that inform them must be recognized as legitimate. In light of this inclusion
of their perspective, groups recognize themselves as contributing to democratic decisions
and thus develop the willingness to cooperate with others in making them. It may have
other benefits, such as the ways in which informal norms of civility are needed for error


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