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Robert B. Talisse

W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy

Research Area

Robert Talisse specializes in contemporary political philosophy, with particular interest in democratic theory and political epistemology. In addition, he pursues topics in pragmatism, analytic philosophy, argumentation theory, and ancient philosophy.

Current Research

Current research is focused on democracy, polarization, citizenship, and public ignorance. 

Personal Webpage (includes a full list of publications and downloadable off-prints)

Recent Courses

Recent graduate seminars include Social Equality; Contemporary Democratic Theory; Egalitarianism; Liberalism and its Critics; Global Justice; Classical Pragmatism; and Democracy and Religious Conviction. At the undergraduate level, Talisse teaches various courses in social and political philosophy.


Contemporary Political Philosophy, Ethics, Pragmatism

Representative publications


Sustaining Democracy: What We Owe to the Other Side, Oxford University Press (2021)
Political Argument in a Polarized Age (with Scott Aikin), Polity (2020)
Overdoing Democracy: Why We Must Put Politics in its Place, Oxford University Press (2019)
Pragmatism, Pluralism, and the Nature of Philosophy (with Scott Aikin), Routledge (2018)
Engaging Political Philosophy, Routledge (2016)
Why We Argue (And How We Should) (with Scott Aikin), Routledge (2014)
Pluralism and Liberal Politics, Routledge (2012)
Reasonable Atheism (with Scott Aikin), Prometheus (2011)
Democracy and Moral Conflict, Cambridge University Press (2009)
Pragmatism: A Guide for the Perplexed (with Scott Aikin), Continuum (2008)
A Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy, Routledge (2007; paperback 2008)
Democracy After Liberalism, Routledge (2005)

Representative Articles

"The Trouble with Hooligans," Inquiry 65.1 (2022): 15-26 
"Semantic Descent: More Trouble for Civility" Connecticut Law Review 52.3 (2021): 1149-1168
"Pragmatism, Truth, and Democracy" with Cheryl Misak Raison Politiques 81 (2021): 11-27
"Problems of Polarization," Political Epistemology, edited by Michael Hannon and Elizabeth Edenberg, Oxford University Press, 2021
"From Pluralism to Liberalism: The Long Way Round," What is Pluralism? edited by Ingrid Salvatore and Volker Kaul, Routledge, 2020  
"Pragmatism Deflated," Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 54.3(2018): 409-416
"New Trouble for Deliberative Democracy," Les ateliers de l'ethique, 12.1(2017): 107–123
"Can Non-ideal Theories of Justice Guide Action?," Political Utopias, K. Vallier and M.Webber, eds., Oxford UP, 2017
"Belief and the Error Theory," with A. Forcehimes, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19.4(2016): 849-856
Reply to Karin Jonch-Clausen and Klemens Kappel," Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19.1(2016): 267-271
"Pragmatism and Pluralism Revisited," with Scott Aikin, Political Studies Review 14.1 (2016):17-26
"Response to Lever,” Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 18.1(2015): 81-85
"Religion and Liberalism: Was Rawls Right All Along?," Rawls and Religion, Bailey and Gentile, eds. Columbia University Press, 2015
"Pragmatist Epistemology and Democratic Theory," with Cheryl Misak, Journal of Political Philosophy 22.3(2014): 366-376
"Moral Authority and the Deliberative Model," Philosophical Studies170.3(2014): 555-561
"Impunity and Domination," European Journal of Political Theory 13.2(2014): 121-131
"Sustaining Democracy," Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16.4(2013): 500-519
"Religion, Respect, and Eberle's Agapic Pacifist," Philosophy & Social Criticism 38.3(2012): 313-325
"Value Pluralism and Liberal Politics," Ethical Theory and Moral Practice14.1(2011): 87-100
"A Farewell to Deweyan Democracy," Political Studies 59.3 (2011): 509-526
"Does Value Pluralism Entail Liberalism?," Journal of Moral Philosophy7.3(2010): 303-320
"Questions about Normative Consent," with Michael Harbour, The Good Society 18.2(2009): 48-53
"Towards A Social Epistemic Comprehensive Liberalism," Episteme 5.1(2008): 106-128
"Kitcher on the Ethics of Inquiry," with Scott Aikin, Journal of Social Philosophy, 38.4(2007): 654-665
Social Epistemology and the Politics of Omission," Episteme 2.II (2006): 107-118
"Deliberativist Responses to Activist Challenges," Philosophy & Social Criticism, 31.4 (2005): 423-444
"Does Public Ignorance Defeat Deliberative Democracy?," Critical Review, 16.4 (2005): 455-463
"Can Value Pluralists be Comprehensive Liberals?," Contemporary Political Theory 3.2(2004): 127-139

For off-prints of publications, please click here.

Blogs and Podcasts

Talisse is the host of season two of the podcast Why We Argue.
Talisse is a monthly Monday contributor to the blog 3 Quarks Daily.
Talisse is the co-host (with Carrie Figdor) of the podcast New Books in Philosophy.
Talisse and Scott Aikin host a blog devoted to argumentation, Why We Argue.