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PARMENIDES: Facilitating Democratic Debate Katie Atkinson, Trevor Bench-Capon, and Peter McBurney
 

Summary: PARMENIDES: Facilitating Democratic Debate
Katie Atkinson, Trevor Bench-Capon, and Peter McBurney
Department of Computer Science
University of Liverpool
Liverpool, L69 3BX, UK
{k.m.atkinson,tbc,p.j.mcburney}@csc.liv.ac.uk
Abstract. This paper describes PARMENIDES, a system which facilitates struc-
tured debate about government policy.
1 The PARMENIDES System
The last two decades have seen a deliberative turn in the study of democracy in political
philosophy [1]. Prior theories of democracy viewed ordinary citizens as no more than
passive consumers of political information and argument, acting only when called upon
to vote. In contrast, deliberative theories view citizens as producers of information,
engaging as consenting and rational participants in reasoned argument with one another
and with their political representatives. Thus, in this view, democracy is not simply a
matter of periodic voting: it should also engage governments and the People in a process
of continuous debate. Today, with the opportunities provided by the World Wide Web,
communication is physically easier than ever before, but the long-standing problems
that bedevil the effectiveness of communication remain. To be effective, communication
must be clear, unambiguous and structured so that misunderstandings are minimised. In

  

Source: Atkinson, Katie - Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool
McBurney, Peter - Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences