ARGUMENTATIVE HYPOCRISY AND CONSTITUENT DEBATES: THE ITALIAN CASE

  • Giovanni Damele Professor Auxiliar Convidado, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

Abstract

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.

Published
2019-05-03
Section
LYING AND HYPOCRISY IN POLITICS AND MORALITY, WITH RUTH GRANT