Problems of Consensus as a Political Ideal

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

Problems of Consensus as a Political Ideal

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This chapter discusses the limitations and problems of consensus as a political ideal. It explains that public consensus, agreement, and concurrence of thought are not a priority in politics. It argues that consensus should be viewed as an inherently limited good because it has the character of something one would welcome having if it can be secured. However, like honesty or social justice, consensus does not merit unqualified approbation and its value is no proper object of a generalized imperative for its promotion at any and every opportunity.

Keywords: consensus; political ideal; politics; limited good; philosophy

Chapter.  4992 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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