Here I shall be attempting to identify deliberative democratic methods for evoking more reflective preferences as inputs into the political process. Properly crafted deliberative processes can produce preferences which are more reflective, in the sense of being:
- more empathetic with the plight of others;
- more considered, and hence both better informed and more stable; and
- more far-reaching in both time and space, taking fuller account of distant periods, distant peoples and different interests.
The key innovation I shall be offering is, in the first instance, a theoretical one. What is required is a new way of conceptualizing democratic deliberation—as something which occurs internally, within each individual’s head, and not exclusively or even in an interpersonal setting.