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PluralismAgainst the Demand for Consensus$
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Nicholas Rescher

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198236016

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198236016.001.0001

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Is Consensus Required for a Benign Social Order?

Is Consensus Required for a Benign Social Order?

Chapter:
(p.156) 9 Is Consensus Required for a Benign Social Order?
Source:
Pluralism
Author(s):

Nicholas Rescher

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198236016.003.0009

This chapter argues against the notion that consensus is required for a benign social order. It suggests that benign social order need not be committed to the quest for consensus and that it can be constituted along very different, irreducibly pluralistic lines. It contends that the insistence on the pursuit of general consensus in practical matters and public affairs is unrealistic and counter-productive because it deprives people of the productive stimulus of competition and the incentive of rivalry.

Keywords:   consensus, social order, pluralism, competition, rivalry, public affairs

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