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Gürsözlü 9 (Fuat, Dept. Phil. – Binghamton U., Journal of Political Philosophy, “Debate: Agonism and Deliberation— Recognizing the Difference*”, 17:3)
In the second and third sections of his article, Knops tries to refute Mouffe's claim that the rational consensus achieved within a sphere free of power is not only a practical impossibility but also a conceptual impossibility. He does this by arguing how the sources Mouffe utilizes to make her point, in this case Wittgenstein and Derrida, do not necessarily preclude rational consensus. After explaining how Habermas' version of a deliberative theory of reasoning that models communicative reasoning is compatible to Wittgensteinian theory of language, he makes the claim that "deliberation, and rational consensus, can be seen as agonistic", since the understandings reached through deliberation or a Wittgensteinian process of explanation and language learning "are partial and defeasible, formed from an encounter with difference."25 At this point I turn to Patchen Markell's "Contesting Consensus: Rereading Habermas On the Public Sphere". In this article, Markell advances a similar claim to that of Knops. He points out that Habermas' model of the public sphere and discursive politics does not only tolerate agonistic political action but also requires it.26 In doing so, Markell repeats the same hegemonic pattern that Knops does by treating agonistic politics as a corrective to the deliberative approach that helps him reveal the full potential of deliberative politics. However, unlike knops' attempt to assimilate agonistic politics to the deliberative approach, markell takes a more reconciliatory approach by first reinterpreting one of the core elements of Habermas's theory, and second by illustrating how his interpretation of habermas can accommodate agonistic political action. Markell points out that the highly criticized aspect of habermas' public sphere theory—its emphasis on consensus—applies only if the public sphere is "conceived as a space of dialogue among citizens in which all speech is governed by the ultimate telos of arriving at consensus." For critics of Habermas, Markell indicates, this understanding of politics—since it aims at consensus—delegitimizes and discourages disruptive speech which challenges agreements and aims to "reintroduce a plurality of opinions, or to give voice to perspectives that cannot be acknowledged within the rules of discourse that govern a given public." however, Markell argues, habermas' communicative action makes it clear that what is important within the practical discourse is not achieving consensus, rather orientation towards agreement refers to "foreswearing of the mechanisms of coercion and influence—a foreswearing of perlocution—in the pursuit of one's goals and a corresponding commitment to provide reasons for one's claims if they are challenged." So, Markell claims, although Habermas makes a strong normative claim about the shape the process of discussion is supposed to take, he does not make a strong phenomenological claim about the possibility of agreement itself. On this reading of Habermas, agreement may or may not be reached, but what is important is the condition under which the discourse takes place. As such, Markell concludes, Habermas' theory of the public sphere does not lead to "the suppression of agonistic and contestatory speech and action in the name of consensus."27

Religious tolerationhas played a crucial role inthe emergence of modern citizenship. It became the basis for a distinctly universal identity within the political community of a modern nation-state that united citizens across social and cultural differences. Both multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism challenge the adequacy of this particular interpretation of universal identity. Deliberative tolerationlooks at the problem of inclusionfrom the other way around. Precisely because of the successful inclusion of ever more citizens in a nonnaturalistic, nonculturally-based community of judgment, the conflicts inherent in deep pluralism recursively challenge the same institutional framework that made this inclusion possible. The emerging challenges to the liberal regime of toleratione veninits expanded multicultural form are increasingly transnational, given the fact that global migration has spurred new levels of pluralism in liberal democratic societies. This migration will call into question the requirements of citizenship, as people no longer live their lives within the boundaries of a particular nation-state. Here we might consider the extent to which traditional liberal and republican conceptions can still provide the basis for mutual toleration among diverse citizens. As Rawls put it, liberal toleration applied in the international sphere “asks of other societies only what they can reasonably grant without submitting to a position of inferiority or domination.”42 Giventhe fact of deep pluralism, cosmopolitanism nowbegins at home. It may well be that the deliberative framework insocieties characterized by migrationan d deep pluralism will have to incorporate interactions among many different inclusive communities. The revival of the debate about religious identities in the public sphere is one more indication of the fact that democracies are no longer the expression of a single political subjectivity. In such an emerging multiperspectival polity, intolerance is evidenced in the inability of citizens to raise vital and significant concerns in deliberation, in the exclusion of relevant reasons, and in the illicit and unspoken generalization of the dominant or majority perspective. Deliberative toleration does not merely aim at mutually granted rights and immunities from interference, but at the ideal of a democratic community of deliberation and judgment. Guided by its practical orientation to successful public communication and the regulative ideal of an inclusive community, toleration becomes reflexive and thus both a means and an end for furthering democratization in a situation of undiminished pluralism. Toleration is thus the attitude of perspective taking that makes such disagreements fruitful for deliberation, in that they are necessary to promote a richly complex ideal of democracy in large, diverse, and increasingly porous polities.




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