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Abstract

ABSTRACT: A framework derived from Jürgen Habermas' Between Facts and Norms is utilized to address the question of how claims for minority rights that emerge from ethical-political discourses may receive public recognition. The major difficulty in this regard turns upon discrepancies between the interpretations of minority cultural needs by the members of a given community and interpretations of the same needs on the part of those outside of the community in question. The discussion includes a critical analysis of proposed resolutions of this problem put forward in Between Facts and Norms, in other works of Habermas, and in the various publications of James Bohman, Jorge Valadez, Michael Rabinder James, and Monique Deveaux. I argue that the best way to assess the cogency of discourses across cultural "barriers" does not involve minimizing requirements for their deliberativeness, as the latter four of these authors tend to accept, but rather strictly differentiating between the procedure and substance of the deliberation.

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