Salta al contenuto principale
Passa alla visualizzazione normale.


What Cordelia lacks of. The ethical dilemma of authenticity in the planning practices of reasoning in public.


Given the significance of planning public argumentation, that is ‘reasoning in public’, in ways in which it is possible to recognize the diversity of perspectives and the complexity of many issues faced, this paper faces the question of how to deal with this issue in political and social contexts where the notion of (substantial) democracy faces several obstacles in its way. Due to our context-based research work field (and place where we live), we experienced significant difficulties in applying normative principles which are nurtured by promises on behalf of deliberative democracy. Consequently the paper raises the following questions: 1. how to practice this normative ideal in those contexts or situations in which the ‘reasoning in public’ arena is a mere deceitful pretence, or in some occasions there is no ‘reasoning in public’ at all; 2. how to practice this normative ideal when some (individuals or groups) are excluded from the ‘reasoning in public’ process, due to their (citizenship, social or cultural) status; 3. how to develop this in contexts where insincerity is the rule, and where the gap (and the imbalance in role) between the public arena and the ‘closed rooms’ of power and the (most powerful) elites is so huge. In order to do so, we will use a Shakespearean character, Cordelia, as metaphor of some theoretical dilemmas in the theory-practice relations, in order to enhance the difference between formal and substantial democracy. In short, the tragedy of King Lear reveals that planning is not just assigning pieces of land, but recognizing or denying citizenship, as a result of sincere or insincere speeches in public reasoning. The paper will develop some theoretical concepts of Hanna Arendt (1958, 2005 and 1948, 2004) and Foucault (2009) to discuss the ethical dilemma of authenticity in the planning practices of reasoning in public.