Il concetto di 'consenso': una scala di transizioni dalla simpatia all'intesa ideale

Luca Mori


When we study the history of political philosophy, we find that the notion of ‘consent’ has been and is still crucial with respect to the definition of key concepts in almost all areas of inquiry: yet despite, or perhaps exactly because of its extension and centrality, the relevance of the concept of ‘consent’ is both persistent and elusive, and its meaning remains contested. As a consequence, the term is not included in some authoritative lexicons of political thought. This article aims to contribute to a survey of the uses philosophers have made of the concept of ‘consensus’ and related locutions, and suggests a strategy for delineating a semantic and theoretical field in which the main variants of meaning can be linked by gradual transitions on a single continuous scale, from pre-intentional sympathy to rationally motivated agreement under ideal conditions. The resulting configuration suggests that consent based on explicit arguments plays a limited role in regulating and coordinating human interactions.

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