The axiological, epistemological and cognitive dimensions of political debates
The purpose of this paper is to put forward a tri-dimensional model in the analysis of political debates, such those that have been instituted by the French loi Bamier (Bamier Law, 1995). This law introduces a kind of participative democracy in decision-making relative to town and country planning. The paper takes his starting point in the widely shared presupposition that classical ReT is insufficient to give a relevant account of these debates (See Hirschman, Elster, etc.). It contends that one has to first identify axiological arguments, which are different from arguments based on self-interest. But one has also to acknowledge that even ordinary debates include epistemological controversies, for example about the validity of experts' reports, etc. Eventually, one has to make a clear distinction between epistemological procedures and pure cognitive processes, as framing. But this latter distinction raises some difficult methodological issues.
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