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Democratic VistasReflections on the Life of American Democracy$
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Jedediah Purdy, Anthony Kronman, and Cynthia Farrar

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300102567

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300102567.001.0001

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Dinner with Democracy

Dinner with Democracy

(p.222) 11 Dinner with Democracy
Democratic Vistas

Cynthia Farrar

Yale University Press

In the course of the Yale Tercentennial DeVane Lectures, the author of this chapter led a weekly discussion group made up of members of the New Haven community, who shared their responses to the lecturers' arguments and observations about American democracy. This chapter presents an account of these conversations and concludes that there can be no theoretical resolution of democratic questions that comes before, or predetermines, the course of actual democratic deliberation. When citizens come together, they bring their existing interests and attitudes, but they also change each other in the course of deliberating together; they obey the rules of civility and argument, but they may also come to new understandings of those rules as they argue together.

Keywords:   discussion group, American democracy, democratic liberation

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