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Aristotle, in Nicomachean Ethics, wrote of the importance of what he called practical wisdom (phronesis) as a key guide to human action. Practical wisdom is the will to do the right thing in a given situation, and the skill to figure out what the right thing is. This chapter discusses what practical wisdom is, and illustrates why it is needed for successful practice in almost all professions. Will is essential because it keeps professionals on track to pursue the proper aims of a profession (eg., healing the sick and easing suffering, in medicine), and skill is important because every situation is different and professionals need empathy, improvisation, good listening, imagination, and perspective taking to find the actions that each situation requires.
Deliberation is widely believed to enhance democracy by helping to refine the ‘public will’, moving its participants' policy attitudes closer to their ‘full-consideration’ policy attitudes – those they would hypothetically hold with unlimited information, to which they gave unlimited reflection. Yet there have also been claims that the social dynamics involved generally ‘homogenize’ attitudes (decreasing their variance), ‘polarize’ them (moving their means toward the nearer extreme), or engender ‘domination’ (moving their overall means toward those of the attitudes held by the socially advantaged) – attitude changes that may often be away from the participants' full-consideration attitudes and may thus distort rather than refine the public will. This article uses 2,601 group-issue pairs in twenty-one Deliberative Polls to examine these claims. Reassuringly, the results show no routine or strong homogenization, polarization, or domination. What little pattern there is suggests some faint homogenization, but also some faint moderation (as opposed to polarization) and opposition (as opposed to domination) – all as is to be expected when the outside-world forces shaping pre-deliberation attitudes are slightly more centrifugal than centripetal. The authors lay out a theoretical basis for these expectations and interpretations and probe the study's results, highlighting, among other things, deliberation's role in undoing outside-world effects on pre-deliberation attitudes and the observed homogenization's, polarization's, and domination's dependence on deliberative design.
To carry out monetary policy properly, central banks prepare a strategy through which they attain their goals. Initially, the BoK set its priority on stabilising exchange rates and maintaining a balance of payments surplus, but this goal was gradually overshadowed by the goal of price and output stability. Accordingly, the BoK shifted its strategy from exchange rate and monetary targeting to inflation targeting. This chapter examines the historical development of the monetary policy strategies in Korea, and the current monetary policy framework adopted by the BoK.
Why is political rhetoric broken – and how can it be fixed? Words on Fire returns to the origins of rhetoric to recover the central place of eloquence in political thought. Eloquence, for the orators of classical antiquity, emerged from rhetorical relationships that exposed both speaker and audience to risk. Through close readings of Cicero – and his predecessors, rivals, and successors – political theorist and former speechwriter Rob Goodman tracks the development of this ideal, in which speech is both spontaneous and stylized, and in which the pursuit of eloquence mitigates political inequalities. He goes on to trace the fierce disputes over Ciceronian speech in the modern world through the work of such figures as Burke, Macaulay, Tocqueville, and Schmitt, explaining how rhetorical risk-sharing has broken down. Words on Fire offers a powerful critique of today's political language – and shows how the struggle over the meaning of eloquence has shaped our world.
Chapter 5 reads Carl Schmitt’s Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy as an account of a rhetorical crisis. Schmitt characterizes twentieth-century parliamentary speech as an empty ritual and proposes a turn toward effective rituals of speech that might supplant it. Schmitt’s assimilation of rhetoric and ritual is an important insight. But his rhetorical theory takes a troubling, authoritarian turn in its understanding of the conditions under which ritual becomes meaningful. For Schmitt, “eloquence is only possible against the background of an imposing authority,” and ritual must actively shape the political world. But with a richer understanding of ritual, we can retain what is of value in Schmitt’s account without following him to his authoritarian conclusions. Just such a richer understanding of ritual is available in the work of Adam Seligman et al. For them, ritual is action in the “subjunctive” mood, “the creation of an order as if it were truly the case.” Ritual is not an effort to shape the world, but a response to the world’s perceived brokenness. In this light, what the rhetorical tradition has to offer us is not a way of resolving the tension between speech and action, but a way of living in that tension.
Chapter 3 addresses Edmund Burke’s role in the eighteenth-century reception of classical eloquence, investigating his provocative claim that disruptive, injudicious speech can act as a spur to sound political judgment and institutional health. While Cicero’s rhetoric and his model of public life celebrated risky spontaneity and was only loosely rule-governed, a range of Burke’s contemporaries argued that the rule-bound governance of the modern era demanded a complementary style of rule-bound speech: a discourse that was factual, restrained, dispassionate, and even happily mediocre. Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful made an important break with this line of thought, celebrating the sublime’s power to disrupt custom and ordinary time. His speeches and political writings built on this conceptual foundation, developing an account of the pain of judging and the allegedly defective deliberation that often serves to evade that pain, substituting rules and maxims for engagement with circumstantial complexities. Burke consistently argued that such deliberation is ultimately self-defeating and marked by a fatal lack of what I call “imaginative judgment.” Yet he also suggested that the rhetorical sublime – which might be excessive and even uncanny – was necessary to provoke the exercise of such judgment.
Chapter 1 engages in a close reading of the most important Roman work on eloquence, Cicero’s De oratore. In the face of the late-stage crisis of the Roman Republic, Cicero reconceives oratorical virtus as a capacity to endure risk in confrontation with an unruly public. From this reconception flows a rejection of systematized rhetoric, in which Cicero valorizes the uncertainties of language: the absence of predictable, manipulable links between speech and audience response. This model of eloquence stresses the unreliability of the orator’s persuasive tools and claims that it is the very possibility of failure that makes oratory worthwhile, virtuous, and even interesting. The pursuit of eloquence pushes Cicero toward a surprising stress on the autonomy of the audience. It is just because Cicero stresses the difficulty of eloquence that he finds himself invested in constructing an unpredictable and unconstrained public. Though he was no democrat, his treatment of eloquence is relevant to democratic theory because of the unexpected pressures it places on his elitism. Cicero’s critique of technical rhetoric also anticipates dissatisfaction with the contemporary routinization of rhetoric. The chapter contrasts this view with the more rationalized model of speech developed in De analogia, Julius Caesar’s work on style.
Citizen participation in decision making has been widely lauded as a method for improving societal outcomes. Deliberative discussion, in particular, is believed to be more transformative than a mere aggregation of individual preferences, leading to more socially optimal decision making and behavior. I report the results from a laboratory experiment with 570 subjects in Nairobi, directly testing the effect of participation in deliberative group decision making on collective outcomes. Participants engage in a group task to earn compensation toward a shared group fund. Randomly assigned treatments vary according to whether decision making over the task to be completed involves: (1) external assignment; (2) non-deliberative majority voting; or (3) consensus through deliberative discussion. I find that deliberation improves collective decision making. Deliberation is also associated with changes in preferences, greater agreement with decision outcomes, and greater perceived fairness. Evidence for behavior change is weaker, but there is some support for further research into the relationship between preference change and behavior change.
Contemporary Hong Kong is riven by serious political and social polarization. Hong Kong's problem does not lie in ideological differences among citizens; rather, the major issue is that people of different political stripes view each other as enemies. In this study, we conducted two experiments to compare the impacts of deliberation and discussion on political depolarization. In study 1, we invited participants of opposing views toward the Article 23 legislation and conducted a 90-min discussion session. The participants were divided into two groups: deliberation and causal discussion. The deliberation group received an information booklet on the issue and had to strictly follow rules of deliberation whereas the causal discussion group had no such stimuli. In study 2, we used video recordings from study 1 and presented the videos to two groups of participants. One group of participants watched the deliberation video and the other group watched the causal discussion video. The main finding of the study is both deliberation and causal discussion had mixed effects on reducing political polarization. After discussion, issue attitude and issue polarization remained largely the same, but people's attitude toward others with opposing views became more favorable and affective polarization was reduced. No systematic differences were found between deliberation and discussion. And watching discussion and deliberation will deliver similar effects but to a lesser extent.
Democracy is not only about voting. Deliberation plays an important role as well. Just like voting, deliberation can occur behind closed doors in the shadows or be subject to the glare of sunlight. In this chapter I argue that deliberation among representatives in a legislature ought to occur behind closed doors and away from the glare of sunlight, but only if it is structured properly. More specifically, I propose a new way of institutionalizing secret deliberation that secures its benefits while avoiding its costs. The key is to add external accountability mechanisms of a very specific kind to the deliberative process and to select participants in the secret deliberative body in a very particular way. If we do both things, then democratic deliberation is optimized when it occurs behind closed doors.
This introductory chapter offers an overview of Secret Government: The Pathologies of Publicity. The book is split into two separate and autonomous parts, roughly tracking what I take to be two distinct traditions in political philosophy. Part I is focused on transparency as it relates to questions of institutional design. Part II focuses on publicity as it relates to the political philosophy of John Rawls and the liberal tradition he inspired. In conjunction, parts I and II jointly offer something like a comprehensive philosophical analysis of transparency in government.
Americans today are affectively polarized: they dislike and distrust those from the opposing political party more than they did in the past, with damaging consequences for their democracy. This Element tests one strategy for ameliorating such animus: having ordinary Democrats and Republicans come together for cross-party political discussions. Building on intergroup contact theory, the authors argue that such discussions will mitigate partisan animosity. Using an original experiment, they find strong support for this hypothesis – affective polarization falls substantially among subjects who participate in heterogeneous discussion (relative to those who participate in either homogeneous political discussion or an apolitical control). This Element also provides evidence for several of the mechanisms underlying these effects, and shows that they persist for at least one week after the initial experiment. These findings have considerable importance for efforts to ameliorate animus in the mass public, and for understanding American politics more broadly.
Among politicians and policy-makers it is almost universally assumed that more transparency in government is better. Until now, philosophers have almost completely ignored the topic of transparency, and when it is discussed there seems to be an assumption (shared with politicians and policy-makers) that increased transparency is a good thing, which results in no serious attempt to justify it. In this book Brian Kogelmann shows that the standard narrative is false and that many arguments in defence of transparency are weak. He offers a comprehensive philosophical analysis of transparency in government, examining both abstract normative defences of transparency, and transparency's role in the theory of institutional design. His book shows that even when the arguments in favour of transparency are compelling, the costs associated with it are just as forceful as the original arguments themselves, and that strong arguments can be made in defence of more opaque institutions.
Almost all economists, left and right, love markets. Studies show that markets are more efficient than government because, in the private sector, managers and owners reap the rewards when they efficiently respond to consumer demand. The power of markets increases when, as in the modern world, the uses of resources have multiplied beyond measure.
Dedicated policy professionals are focused on improving their programs. Economists are more likely to also focus on opportunity cost, the damage to other programs when too many resources go to any single one. They are aware that “setting priorities” should not mean our top priority gets all the resources. In some absolute sense, safety is more important than recreation. But we should not abolish all youth baseball leagues, because a child is very rarely struck in the head by the ball.
Despite their frequent usefulness, economists place unbalanced emphasis on narrow self-interest as both compelling motive and route to happiness. Competing disciplines can lead to a deeper perspective. Positive psychology reminds us that friends and family lead to more happiness than wealth. That discipline focuses on admiration and elevation, as does the discipline of virtue ethics. These very different disciplines also agree on the importance of gratitude; it is both a virtue and a feature of the road to happiness. We should be grateful for our economy, which has led us to income per capita that is 25 times what it was in 1820. Liberty sparks our economic dynamism and is also at the heart of our constitutional democracy. In difficult times in particular, we should be grateful for our freedom.
This chapter discusses Aristotle’s puzzling claim that ‘craft does not deliberate’ (Physics II.8). This claim is made in answer to an imagined objection: craft and nature cannot be analogous because craft-production involves deliberation. The claim is puzzling, as it seems obvious that certain craftsmen will need to deliberate if they are to do their jobs well. In response, Coope argues (following Sedley) that Aristotle is not denying that particular craftsmen deliberate. His point is rather that the craft itself does not deliberate. However, this response itself gives rise to a second puzzle: how is this claim (that the craft itself does not deliberate) relevant to defending Aristotle’s analogy between craft and nature? In response, Coope argues that Aristotle’s point is that it is the craft that explains the purposiveness of a process of craft-production and, analogously, it is the nature that explains the purposiveness of a natural process. In each case, the source of purposiveness is something that does not deliberate. The chapter ends by suggesting that this solution itself raises a new difficulty for Aristotle: can he give an analogous account of the purposiveness of those ordinary human intentional actions that are not cases of craft-production?
According to Aristotle there is an important distinction between human beings and the rest of nature: while all other creatures develop as they do ‘necessarily or for the most part’, the development of human beings depends on their own efforts. This applies not only to their acquisition of technical and intellectual accomplishments, but to their character as well. Emotions or affections (pathē) play an important role in that development; they have an interesting ‘passive-cum-active’ character. Although their experience is not determined by choice, it is due to understanding and evaluating the particular situation. Reasoning is therefore in a way involved in the formation of human affections by habituation. The process of habituation determines not only how human beings act, but also how they feel. The affective part of the soul, though it is non-rational, is capable of ‘listening’ to reason more or less well and thereby the person acquires good or bad dispositions to act. Thus, in a human being, affections can be reasonable or unreasonable: The distinctive reason-responsiveness of the affections helps to explain why, despite certain natural predispositions, successful human development cannot simply be attributed to nature.
Lay magistrates are involved in most of the criminal cases in England and Wales. They typically sit in panels, but in minor cases they sit as single decision-makers. In both situations, they are assisted by a legal adviser. Lay magistrates also hear appeals as part of a mixed court presided over by a professional judge. Lay magistrates are more diverse in personal characteristics than professional judges, but the level of commitment required results in an overrepresentation of older, middle-class people. The lay magistrate is defined by law, professional work patterns, budget constraints, and the traditional legal culture. In addition, the architecture of the courtroom, as well as the use of video links, often impedes interaction between lay magistrates and defendants. These constraints at times threaten justice and procedural fairness. The number of lay magistrates has been declining for years. To dispose of cases more quickly, professional judges have taken a slice of the caseload. A different work pattern can be found at the youth court where magistrates engage actively with the defendant and are not confined to a narrow decision-making function.
How can we include the affected interests of future generations and non-humans in deliberations about global justice given that they cannot exercise formative agency themselves? Starting from the role moral imagination plays in moral reasoning, and hence in formative agency concerning the meaning of justice as well, this chapter looks at ways in which deliberations can be enhanced so as to promote inclusion of these neglected interests. Visual and experiential prompts should complement talk-centric deliberative processes. This would expand the deliberators’ moral imagination, enabling them to internalize the interests of future generations, animals, ecosystems, and the Earth system, and reach decisions reflecting all affected interests, even those bound to be silent – though that seeming silence itself may reveal an incapacity to listen. These kinds of considerations can be reflected in institutional design. Currently these frontiers of justice are only weakly present in the Sustainable Development Goals, which look ahead only to 2030, turned down the chance to incorporate planetary boundaries, and say little or nothing about non-humans.
In the context of earth system governance today, experimentation is no longer merely a virtue but a basic survival skill. Administrative professionals – understood to include administrators national, international, and subnational, both governmental and nongovernmental, across the entire range of policy arenas – are in a position to engage in this best practice for learning from experience, perhaps to a greater degree than any other agents of governance. Protected by both their relative anonymity and their institutional affiliations, they enjoy the dual benefits of relative invisibility and administrative discretion. Administrative professionals can experiment with social and political arrangements that are not only adaptive but are also democratic and effective in reconciling humans to their environment. The volatility of their environments has meant that they face devolved responsibility in governance for both acquiring resources and achieving results. Administrative professionals succeed by being scavengers par excellence, such that approaches that work well anywhere are destined eventually to be tried everywhere.
In the early treatise Ennead V.9, Plotinus discusses whether the arts are there in the intelligible realm, and concludes that they are at least partly. The chapter’s first part discusses a number of questions that arise. What is exactly the principle of division for which arts or which parts of an art are in the intelligible realm? What is the status of the arts in the intelligible world? Are there Platonic Forms of the arts? In a later treatise, V.8., Plotinus argues that rather than imitating sensible objects, some artists concerned with producing beautiful sensible objects imitate the intelligible paradigm of beauty. Emilsson discusses this claim, which seems a clear deviation from the account of mimetic art in Plato’s Republic. In the latter half of the chapter, Emilsson addresses Plotinus’ demythologisation of Plato’s Timaeus. Plotinus replaces the Demiurge of the Timaeus with the universal intellect and the World-Soul, which do not deliberate. However, Plotinus does not reject entirely any craftsman model, for he appeals to performance arts, which do not involve deliberation, in explaining how natural processes flow from higher principles. Emilsson then discusses what sort of conception of the arts lies behind this view.