Pol 228: half an exam

Pol 228: Final Exam Questions                    S09


Write a response to ONE of the following (series of) questions. Make explicit reference to the arguments of Gutmann and Thompson and, where appropriate, to the Stolzenberg piece and/or the chapters in the Macedo book. (This is, obviously, an open book exam.)

Make sure to answer ALL parts of the question (although you are free to answer the various parts in any order you deem fit). Also, feel free to use examples to illustrate your points—remembering, of course, to explain how the example works, and not simply asserting that it does so.

Answers should be typewritten, approximately 1500 words—and please, NO COVER SHEET.

Good luck!

1. [pending: G&T, principles]

2. [pending: Stolzenberg]

3. How could deliberative democracy actually work within the present political system in the United States? Could it work at the national level, or is it better suited to state and local levels? How could it work at these various levels? Or would this approach work better when targeted to particular issues as opposed to particular levels of government? Regardless of whether this is applied to government or issues, who would or should lead this deliberation? Should this deliberation lead to a binding outcome, as in a vote, or serve simply to advise? If meant to advise, how could citizens insure that these deliberative sessions are not ignored by policy-makers? Or is deliberation perhaps best used by citizens themselves, to inform and deal with the differences amongst themselves, with little thought given to policy-making?

4. Gutmann and Thompson focus on deliberation as a means through which to deal with difficult moral issues, i.e., issues in which various sides are likely to see transcendent values and not simply self-interest at stake.  Is their version of deliberation a good way to deal with these issues? Explain. Is it possible that deliberation could exacerbate moral disagreement? If deliberation wouldn’t work, what would? Would it work better to treat morals as simply another interest, subject to the same trade-offs and deals as any other interest? Should we even attempt to resolve matters of great moral disagreement in a pluralistic society, or simply ‘live and let live’? If moral


About proftp

I teach political science and bioethics as an adjunct at a CUNY school.
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