Anno LII, n. 220, settembre-dicembre 2017
Given the difficulties faced democracy today, some positions argue for the inadequacy of a purely procedural view of democracy itself. Hence the search for a stronger foundation of the bases of democracy. This search may take different forms: some provide an epistemic justification of democracy, while others instead support the need to root democracy onto some moral basis. This article critically analyses an essay by Mauro Piras, published in a previous issue of this journal: according to the author, liberal democracy can ultimately be founded only on the idea of the equal moral dignity of individuals. Even the theories (like Habermas’s) supporting and striving for an integrally procedural foundation of democracy – Piras claims – turn out to be contradictory, because they still presuppose the equal moral consideration of individuals. The present article challenges this interpretation and analyses some features of Habermas’s theoretical projects, which argue against the criticisms addressed to it.