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The Irrelevance of Sincerity: Deliberative Democracy in the Supreme Court
St. Louis University Law Journal (2004)
  • John M Kang, St. Thomas University

Insincerity is regarded as a roguish intruder in democratic discourse where people are expected to speak their minds freely yet with a measure of sincere concern for their fellow citizens. This general cultural response has found formal articulation in the prominent scholarly movement which in recent years has assembled under the heading of "deliberative democracy". Its advocates - who include a diverse mix of some of the most prominent law professors, philosophers and political theorists - argue that people should frame their justifications in terms of the common good or the public generally, and that such justifications, at least sometimes, should be sincere. Against such insistence on sincerity, I argue that sincerity is both logically and practically irrelevant in contributing to a meaningful realm of free speech that can help generate diverse options for an audience to consider in its search for provisional political "truths".

  • Deliberation,
  • Democracy,
  • Insincerity,
  • Lying,
  • Truth,
  • public discourse
Publication Date
Citation Information
John M Kang. "The Irrelevance of Sincerity: Deliberative Democracy in the Supreme Court" St. Louis University Law Journal Vol. 48 (2004)
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