In this study of democracy and its critics, the author debunks liberalism, arguing that its exaggerated ideals of authenticity, unity and community have deflected attention from the pervasive incompetence of "the rule of experts". He proposes a ground of communication that emphasizes common interests rather than narrow disputes. The problem of "unity" and the public sphere has driven a wedge between libertarians and communitarians. To mediate this conflict, Willard advocates a shift from the discourse of liberalism to that of epistemics. As a means of organizing the ebb and flow of consensus, epistemics regards democracy as a family of knowledge problems - as ways of managing discourse across differences and protecting multiple views. Building a bridge between warring peoples and warring paradigms, the book also reminds those who presume to instruct government that they are obliged to enlighten it, and that to do so requires an enlightened public discourse.
Buy Liberalism and the Problem of Knowledge book by Charles Arthur Willard from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(230mm x 150mm x 22mm)
University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
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Author Biography - Charles Arthur Willard
Charles Willard is professor and chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Louisville.