Argumentative hypocrisy and constituent debates: the italian case

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Jon Elster suggested that even speakers who are not moved “by a
concern for the common good”, but whose concerns are “purely self-interested”,
may be still forced or induced “to substitute the language of impartial argument for the language of self-interest”. This substitution would be the fruit of the civilizing force of hypocrisy. This argumentative hypocrisy is a key concept for
understanding a process of negotiation through persuasive strategies typical in
constitutional debates. Particularly, Elster believes that “the most important
requirement” of a bargaining theory should be “that we are able to specify what
will happen during a temporary breakdown of cooperation”. The constituents can
get out of an impasse caused by a non-cooperative situation resorting to
argumentative hypocrisy. The paper will analyse some examples taken from the
debate which led to the final version of the Italian Constitution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-219
Number of pages15
JournalEthics, Politics and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventIX Braga Meetings on Ethics and Political Philosophy - University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Duration: 11 Jun 2018 → …


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