This guest column in Common Knowledge presents the concept of “communities of disagreement” to an international and interdisciplinary audience, perhaps for the first time. It takes as its starting point the contrast between agonistic and deliberative democratic theories, and it attempts to outline how democratic groups may live well with unresolved disagreement yet not give on up developing truth-sensitive decision-making processes. It argues against the widespread idea that shared values are the social glue of democratic communities. By developing arguments of Manfred Frank, the article outlines a model of the relationship between social context, interpretation, and information.

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