CMN 3133: Lecture #13 Nov 12 2013
The Public and Public Opinion in Political Theories
Entwined Concepts: Public Opinion and Democracy
Public opinion and democracy▯ linked together by democracy.
Referendum looks at the relationship of power/not power and a separate social system of law
Kantian judgments expressing a judgment with some attribution of true to the external reality.
This builds every type of communication today
Thoughts can be translated into statements that can be written, into the media and outside of my own
Can explain aspects of reality▯ logical form of true/false
The central cognitive faculty of the rational human mind ,
by insisting on the semantic, logical, psychological, epistemic, and practical priority of the
propositional content of a judgment , and
by systematically embedding judgment within the metaphysics of transcendental idealism .
Judgments are complex conscious cognitions that
(i) refer to objects either directly (via intuitions) or indirectly (via concepts),
(ii) include concepts that are predicated either of those objects or of other constituent concepts, (iii) exemplify pure logical concepts and enter into inferences according to pure logical laws,
(iv) essentially involve both the following of rules and the application of rules to the objects picked out by
(v) express true or false propositions (truthaptness),
(vi) mediate the formation of beliefs and other intentional acts, and (vii) are unified and selfconscious.
“judgment” (Urteil ) is a specific kind of “cognitioErkenntnis )—which he generically defines as any
conscious mental representation of an object (A320/B376)—that is the characteristic output of the “power of
judgment” (Urteilskraft ). The power of judgment, in turn, is a cognitive “capacityFähigkeit ) but also
specifically spontaneous and innate cognitive capacity, and in virtue of these is it is the “faculty of
judging” Vermögen zu urteilen ) (A69/B94), which is also the same as the “faculty of thinking”
(Vermögen zu denken ) (A81/B106). (Hanna, 2013)
what you have learned about others judgments is that you can apply them to new experiences.
Kantian judgments are
neither merely psychological objects or processes (as in psychologistic theories of judgment)
nor are they essentially mindindependent, abstract objects (as in platonistic theories of judgment),
nor again are they inherently assertoric takings of propositions to be true
Kantian judgments are intersubjectively shareable, rationally communicable, cognitivelygenerated mental
act structures or types whose logicallystructured truthapt semantic contents can be the targets of many
different kinds of epistemic or nonepistemic propositional attitudes.
public, from the Latin publicus meaning
Second usage, public referred to the common interest and common good, not in the sense of access (or
belonging to) but rather in the sense of representing (that is, in the name of) the whole of the people. Thus
the monarch under the theory of royal absolutism was the sole public figure, representing by divine right the
entirety of the kingdom in his person. public opinion came into widespread use only in the eighteenth century and as the product of
several significant historical trends, primarily the growth of literacy, expansion of the merchant classes, the
Protestant Reformation, and the circulation of literature enabled by the printing press. An ascendant class
of literate and wellread European merchants, congregating in new popular institutions such as salons
and coffee houses and emboldened by new liberal philosophies arguing for basic
individual freedoms, began to articulate a critique of royal absolutism and to assert
their interests in political affairs (Habermas, 1962/1989).
In order to reach public good
Are we in the right co existence to discuss
How does the new media intervene
How is power dealing with the new form of communication
Reading: Baker (1990) argues that with the dissolution of absolute monarchical power, both the crown and
its opponents alike invoked public opinion as a new source of authority and legitimacy, largely in rhetorical
fashion and without any fixed sociological referent.
Reading: Mill (1820/1937) and Bentham (1838/1962). While continuing to argue for full publicity of
government affairs and strongly advocating freedom of expression, these analysts saw the polity less as the
coming together of separate minds reasoning together toward a shared, common
will than as a collection of individuals attempting to maximize their own interests and utilities.
The problem is more practical▯ we must live in a world where we can selfexpress, freedom, be selfish, we
are all entitled to have clashing perspectives. We cannot express ourselves without the fear of an above all
It is about the protection of the individual the right to self expression
A minority can guide public opinion
You protect the ones which are you opponents because you truly want to preserve the debate this is true
Ex: in class▯ Quebec case of the prohibition of the hijab and minority groups speaking out because free
speech is permitted. The harmonization of these conflicting interests was best achieved not
through public reasoning to any consensual conclusion, but instead through rule by majority, requiring
regular election and plebiscite, with the state functioning as a referee to individuals and groups vying to
achieve their economic and political ends.
‘A key proposition,’ writes Held (1996, p. 95), ‘was that the collective good could be realized only if
individuals interacted in competitive exchanges pursuing their utility with minimal state interference.’
Thus public opi