The Truth Tenet

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Ethics and Public Policy book series (PASEPP)


This chapter discusses two positions that reject the truth tenet, i.e. the claim that political decisions can be true or false, or correct or incorrect, according to some procedure-independent criterion. Fabienne Peter’s Pure Epistemic Proceduralism, a position claiming that democratic decision-making procedures have legitimacy-generating potential owing to some moral and intrinsic epistemic qualities, is discussed and rejected in the first part of the chapter. Instrumental epistemic value is needed in order to evaluate and to be able to improve our epistemic practices. Thomas Christiano’s Pure Deliberative Proceduralism is discussed in the second part of the chapter. Christiano thinks that we cannot have an instrumental account of democratic legitimacy because we would have to have a public agreement on the qualities of outcomes. Christiano’s position is, however, compromised when he himself uses an instrumental argumentation arguing in favor of deliberative democracy (i.e. when he claims that a state with more well-being is better than a state with less well-being). The chapter ends with a claim that the truth tenet should be endorsed.


Political nihilism Epistemic abstinence Pure epistemic proceduralism Hybrid epistemology Deliberative democracy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of RijekaRijekaCroatia

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