CMN 3109 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Communicative Rationality, Michael Morell
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Empathy and Democracy
EMPATHY AND DEMOCRACY
The private becomes public
The personal becomes political
•!A thoughtful discussion about issues
•!The empathic process should be put at the heart of deliberation.
•!“There is a promise inherent in democracy: before society makes
decisions that it will use its collective power to enforce, it will give
equal consideration to everyone in the community” (p.1).
DELIBERATION AND EMPAHTY
•!This tension between collective decision making and equal
consideration can be best resolved through deliberation, and that,
by giving emotions a pace in democracy and within forms of
deliberation, one can improve deliberative theory (p9)
•!Moving to Mead and Habermas, Morell shows that the two theorists
approached the subject of empathy but still as a cognitive tool,
rather than a process or an ability, and that its role was secondary
in deliberation and communicative rationality (p. 84).
•!Morell argues that individuals with higher empathetic abilities are
more open-minded and respectful to the views of others. They are
more apt to engage reciprocally in communicative acts with
tolerance and acknowledgements of others’ positions and how they
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