Decentered Media Podcast 131 – Pragmatic Models of Evaluation

At this evening’s community media meetup, we chatted about the development and use of pragmatic models of evaluation and conceptualisation that are different from critical thinking models of analysis. This is the audio from the presentation. The notes can be downloaded here.

A pragmatic approach to social deliberation involves seeking ‘reflective acceptance’ on the part of all participants in a collective decision. This approach emphasises the importance of social intelligence in democracy, as well as the need for empirical learning in communities that produces real knowledge.

According to a pragmatist proposal for evaluation criteria and collaborative research, deliberation features three critical moments:

  • the opening of the discussion,
  • the development of the discussion,
  • and the closing of the discussion.

The quality of deliberation can be evaluated based on how well it meets certain criteria, such as the inclusion of diverse perspectives, the use of evidence and reasoning, and the ability to reach a shared understanding. In the context of deliberative democracy, there is a dilemma between two models of pragmatism: Deweyan pragmatism and Rortyan pragmatism. Deweyan pragmatism emphasises the importance of inquiry and experimentation in democratic decision-making, while Rortyan pragmatism emphasises the importance of contingency and irony in democratic discourse. Both models have their strengths and weaknesses, and the choice between them depends on the specific context of the deliberation.

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