Is Consensus Required for a Benign Social Order?

Nicholas Rescher

in Pluralism

Published in print September 1995 | ISBN: 9780198236016
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679162 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

Is Consensus Required for a Benign Social Order?

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  • Social and Political Philosophy


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This chapter argues against the notion that consensus is required for a benign social order. It suggests that benign social order need not be committed to the quest for consensus and that it can be constituted along very different, irreducibly pluralistic lines. It contends that the insistence on the pursuit of general consensus in practical matters and public affairs is unrealistic and counter-productive because it deprives people of the productive stimulus of competition and the incentive of rivalry.

Keywords: consensus; social order; pluralism; competition; rivalry; public affairs

Chapter.  10662 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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