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Summary Political epistemology lies at the intersection of political philosophy and epistemology. Put broadly, political epistemologists investigate the ways in which epistemological issues are at the center of our political lives. For example, they explore how claims of knowledge, truth, and expertise impact political decisions and forms of legitimate authority. Research in this domain ranges from asking questions about whether (and to what extent) legitimate authority hinges on epistemic evaluation of the process or outcome of political decisions to questions about epistemic virtues and vices of individuals in their role as political agents. Political epistemologists ask questions such as: which forms of government can leverage the collective wisdom of the public and to what extent does ignorance, propaganda, or misinformation undermine the legitimacy of collective decisions? What role should disagreement play in our political lives and how does disagreement impact society (i.e. does it lead to polarization or can it be productively leveraged to reveal blind spots based on different perspectives)? In what ways are socially and politically marginalized groups in a position of epistemic privilege vis-à-vis social structures? While the term ‘political epistemology’ is fairly new, scholars have been interested in topics at the intersection of political philosophy and epistemology at least since Plato. Until recently, however, the literature in both political philosophy and epistemology proceeded largely in their own siloes, without explicit reference to -- or common framing of -- the questions. This newer reframing of the subfield of political epistemology explicitly draws on the insights from both areas of philosophy (as well as cognate areas like political science and social psychology). As a result, the past few years have witnessed an outpouring of new research that draws important and tighter connections between epistemology (especially social epistemology) and political philosophy. For example, new work has been published on propaganda, fake news, belief polarization, political disagreement, conspiracy theories, the epistemic merits of democracy, voter ignorance, irrationality in politics, distrust, and the epistemic harms of echo chambers. Political epistemology is now a flourishing area of philosophy.
Key works Plato & Jowett 1991 and Keyt 1999 were not friends of democracy for largely epistemic reasons: they thought ordinary citizens are too uninformed to govern themselves well. Mill 1991 was more optimistic about citizens in liberal democracies; but he, too, worries about citizen incompetence and thus proposed that more knowledgeable citizens should have extra votes. Somin 2010 agrees with Plato (and others) that voters may be ignorant, but he claims that voter ignorance is rational because the cost to be adequately informed is too high for most people. Dewey 1927 reject’s Plato’s “rule by experts” in favor of a pragmatist view of public deliberation, which many scholars regard as a precursor to modern “deliberative democracy” (discussed below). As a pragmatist, however, Dewey set aside the search for unchanging and timeless moral truths. Anderson 2006 provides an early articulation of an “epistemic” conception of democracy. This seminal article continues to inform work on epistemic democracy, such as Estlund 2008 attempt to give the notion of truth a central role in democracy -- but without risking the elitism of Plato and, to a lesser extent, Mill. In contrast to the epistemic democrats, Rawls 1993 famously takes the stance of “epistemic abstinence,” rejecting the relevance of truth for justifying certain principles of justice. Gaus 1996 raises a number of criticisms against Rawls and attempts to defend political liberalism partly on epistemic terms. Lynch 2012 provides lively defense of reason, giving reasons, and pursuing rational debate against passion, prejudice, manipulation, coercion, and skepticism about the role of reason in judgment. Talisse 2009 gives a concise defense of democracy by appealing to “folk epistemology”. The main claim is that only in a democracy can an individual practice proper epistemic agency. Peter 2008 analyzes the requirements for democratic legitimacy, breaking down aggregative, deliberative, and Rawlsian approaches. This book defends a view called “pure epistemic proceduralism”. Landemore 2012 is a landmark work in the study of collective intelligence and democratic theory. Landemore says that democracies are not just fairer than non-democratic alternatives, they are also “smarter” because they produce better outcomes. Brennan 2016 is an attack on democracy and defense of epistocracy. Brennan argues that voter incompetence has dire consequences, so we should consider replacing universal suffrage with “the rule of the knowledgeable.”
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  1. Parochialism in Political Epistemology.Robin Mckenna - manuscript
    “Political epistemology” has recently emerged as an area of analytic epistemology. While it may not be an entirely new area, and its precise boundaries are up for negotiation, recent political events in the UK (e.g. Brexit) and the US (e.g. the election of Donald Trump) played a key role in its rise to prominence within contemporary analytic epistemology. Further, political epistemology is an inter-disciplinary field, drawing on relevant work in political science, political psychology, and science communication that is often equally (...)
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  2. Introduction: Testimonial Injustice and Trust.Melanie Altanian & Maria Baghramian (eds.) - forthcoming - Routledge.
    This introduction to the edited volume on "Testimonial Injustice and Trust" provides (a) a brief overview of the philosophical debate on the notion of ‘testimonial injustice’ and (b) a summary of the 18 chapters constituting this volume. The contributions are divided into four thematic sections. These are (I) Rethinking Testimonial Injustice, (II) Testimonial Injustice and the Question of Trust, (III) The Public Spheres of Testimonial Injustice, and (IV) Testimonial Injustice and Public Health. The contributions criticize, complement, or expand on Fricker’s (...)
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  3. Experts, Public Policy and the Question of Trust.Maria Baghramian & Michel Croce - forthcoming - In Michael Hannon & Jeroen De Ridder (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology. London, UK: Routledge.
    This chapter discusses the topics of trust and expertise from the perspective of political epistemology. In particular, it addresses four main questions: (§1) How should we characterise experts and their expertise? (§2) How can non-experts recognize a reliable expert? (§3) What does it take for non-experts to trust experts? (§4) What problems impede trust in experts?
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  4. The Challenges of Thick Diversity, Polarization, Debiasing, and Tokenization for Cross-Group Teaching: Some Critical Notes.Rima Basu - forthcoming - In Eric Beerbohm & Elizabeth Beaumont (eds.), NOMOS LXVI: Civic Education in Polarized Times. NYU Press.
    The powerful role that teachers can play in our development is the focus Binyamin, Jayusi, and Tamir’s chapter in this volume. They argue that teachers, in particular teachers that don’t share the same background as their students, can help counter the increasing polarization that characterizes our current era. In these critical notes I raise three challenges to their proposal. First, by exploring the mechanisms of polarization I demonstrate that polarization is not a problem unique to thick diversity or thick multiculturalism. (...)
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  5. The Epistemic Dimensions of Civil Disobedience.Alexander Bryan - forthcoming - Journal of Political Philosophy.
  6. Can We Talk It Out?Miguel Egler - forthcoming - Episteme:1-19.
    Research on the normative ideal of democracy has taken a sharp deliberative and epistemic turn. It is now increasingly common for claims about the putative cognitive benefits of political deliberation to play central roles in normative arguments for democracy. In this paper, I argue that the most prominent epistemic defences of deliberative democracy fail. Relying on empirical findings on the workings of implicit bias, I show that they overstate the epistemic virtues of political deliberation. I also argue that findings in (...)
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  7. Identifying Upward: Political Epistemology in an Early Chinese Political Theory.Chris Fraser - forthcoming - In Jeroen de Ridder & Michael Hannon (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology.
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  8. Attunement: On the Cognitive Virtues of Attention.Georgi Gardiner - forthcoming - In Social Virtue Epistemology.
    I motivate three claims: Firstly, attentional traits can be cognitive virtues and vices. Secondly, groups and collectives can possess attentional virtues and vices. Thirdly, attention has epistemic, moral, social, and political importance. An epistemology of attention is needed to better understand our social-epistemic landscape, including media, social media, search engines, political polarisation, and the aims of protest. I apply attentional normativity to undermine recent arguments for moral encroachment and to illuminate a distinctive epistemic value of occupying particular social positions. A (...)
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  9. Bullshit in Politics Pays.Adam F. Gibbons - forthcoming - Episteme:1-21.
    Politics is full of people who don’t care about the facts. Still, while not caring about the facts, they are often concerned to present themselves as caring about them. Politics, in other words, is full of bullshitters. But why? In this paper I develop an incentives-based analysis of bullshit in politics, arguing that it is often a rational response to the incentives facing different groups of agents. In a slogan: bullshit in politics pays, sometimes literally. After first outlining an account (...)
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  10. Bad Language Makes Good Politics.Adam F. Gibbons - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Politics abounds with bad language: lying and bullshitting, grandstanding and virtue signaling, code words and dogwhistles, and more. But why is there so much bad language in politics? And what, if anything, can we do about it? In this paper I show how these two questions are connected. Politics is full of bad language because existing social and political institutions are structured in such a way that the production of bad language becomes rational. In principle, by modifying these institutions we (...)
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  11. Fake News: The Case for a Purely Consumer-Oriented Explication.Thomas Grundmann - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Our current understanding of ‘fake news’ is not in good shape. On the one hand, this category seems to be urgently needed for an adequate understanding of the epistemology in the age of the internet. On the other hand, the term has an unstable ordinary meaning and the prevalent accounts which all relate fake news to epistemically bad attitudes of the producer lack theoretical unity, sufficient extensional adequacy, and epistemic fruitfulness. I will therefore suggest an alternative account of fake news (...)
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  12. Receptive Publics.Joshua Habgood-Coote, Natalie Alana Ashton & Nadja El Kassar - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    It is widely accepted that public discourse as we know it is less than ideal from an epistemological point of view. In this paper, we develop an underappreciated aspect of the trouble with public discourse: what we call the Listening Problem. The listening problem is the problem that public discourse has in giving appropriate uptake and reception to ideas and concepts from oppressed groups. Drawing on the work of Jürgen Habermas and Nancy Fraser, we develop an institutional response to the (...)
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  13. Is There a Duty to Speak Your Mind?Michael Hannon - forthcoming - Social Epistemology:1-16.
    In his recent book, Joshi (2021) argues that the open exchange of ideas is essential for the flourishing of individuals and society. He provides two arguments for this claim. First, speaking your mind is essential for the common good: we enhance our collective ability to reach the truth if we share evidence and offer different perspectives. Second, speaking your mind is good for your own sake: it is necessary to develop your rational faculties and exercise intellectual independence, both of which (...)
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  14. Public Discourse and Its Problems.Michael Hannon - forthcoming - Politics, Philosophy, and Economics:1470594X2211005.
    It is widely believed that open and public speech is at the heart of the democratic ideal. Public discourse is instrumentally epistemically valuable for identifying good policies, as well as necessary for resisting domination (e.g., by vocally challenging decision-makers, demanding public justifications, and using democratic speech to hold leaders accountable). But in our highly polarized and socially fragmented political environment, an increasingly pressing question is: do actual democratic societies live up to the ideal of inclusive public speech? In this essay, (...)
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  15. A Guide to Political Epistemology.Michael Hannon & Elizabeth Edenberg - forthcoming - In Jennifer Lackey & Aidan McGlynn (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Social Epistemology.
    Political epistemology is a newly flourishing area of philosophy, but there is no comprehensive overview to this burgeoning field. This chapter maps out the terrain of political epistemology, highlights some of the key questions and topics of this field, draws connections across seemingly disparate areas of work, and briefly situates this field within its historical and contemporary contexts.
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  16. Political Conviction, Intellectual Humility, and Quietism.Michael Hannon & Ian James Kidd - forthcoming - Journal of Positive Psychology.
    In his overview of recent work on intellectual humility, Nathan Ballantyne (2021) highlights some of the potential ‘dark sides’ of intellectual humility (IH) and calls for a critical study of the ‘value-theory’ of IH. In this article, we sketch out three ways that IH may threaten political conviction. We end our response by arguing that some forms of IH include different kinds of quietism about political convictions, which do not necessarily equate with a lack of conviction.
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  17. The Future of Double Consciousness: Epistemic Virtue, Identity, and Structural Anti-Blackness.Orlando Hawkins & Emmalon Davis - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper considers two conceptual expansions of Du Boisian double consciousness—white double consciousness (Alcoff 2015) and kaleidoscopic consciousness (Medina 2013)—both of which aim to articulate the moral-epistemic potential of cultivating double consciousness from racially dominant or other socially privileged positions. We analyze these concepts and challenge them on the grounds that they lack continuity with their Du Boisian predecessor and face problems of practical feasibility. As we show, these expansions obscure structural barriers that make white double consciousness and kaleidoscopic consciousness (...)
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  18. Populism, Expertise, and Intellectual Autonomy.Allan Hazlett - forthcoming - In M. Berhow, G. Petersen & G. Tsakiridis (eds.), Engaging Populism: Democracy and the Intellectual Virtues. Palgrave.
    Populism, as I shall understand the term here, is a style of political rhetoric that posits a Manichean conflict between the people and corrupt elites. In the present decade, populism has played a particularly salient role in the politics of the United States and Europe. Moreover, populism is commonly associated with a kind of skepticism about expertise, on which the opinions of non- experts are to be preferred to any expert consensus. In light of all this, populist expertise skepticism appears (...)
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  19. Knowledge as a Social Kind.Tammo Lossau - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-20.
    I argue that knowledge can be seen as a quality standard that governs our sharing and storing of information. This standard satisfies certain functional needs, namely it allows us to share and store trustworthy information more easily. I argue that this makes knowledge a social kind, similar in important ways to other social kinds like money. This provides us with a way of talking about knowledge without limiting ourselves to the concept of knowledge. I also outline three ways in which (...)
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  20. Extreme beliefs and Echo chambers.Finlay Malcolm & Christopher Ranalli - forthcoming - In Rik Peels & John Horgan (eds.), Mapping the Terrain of Extreme Belief and Behavior. Oxford University Press.
    Are extreme beliefs constitutive of echo chambers, or only typically caused by them? Or are many echo chambers unproblematic, amplifying relatively benign beliefs? This paper details the conceptual relations between echo chambers and extreme beliefs, showing how different conceptual choice-points in how we understand both echo chambers and extreme beliefs affects how we should evaluate, study, and engage with echo chambering groups. We also explore how our theories of extreme beliefs and echo chambers shape social scientific research and contribute in (...)
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  21. Political Bald-Faced Lies are Performative Utterances.Susanna Melkonian-Altshuler - forthcoming - In Adam Podlaskowski & Drew Johnson (eds.), Truth 20/20. Synthese Library.
    Sometimes, political bald-faced lies pass for truth. That is, certain groups of people behave according to them – behave as if the political bald-faced lies were true. How can this phenomenon be explained? I argue that to explain it we need to take political bald-faced lies to be performative utterances whose goal is to bring about a worldly state of affairs just in virtue of making the utterance. When the former US-President tweeted ‘we won the election’, people stormed Capitol Hill (...)
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  22. Partisan Epistemology and Misplaced Trust.Boyd Millar - forthcoming - Episteme:1-21.
    The fact that each of us has significantly greater confidence in the claims of co-partisans – those belonging to groups with which we identify – explains, in large part, why so many people believe a significant amount of the misinformation they encounter. It's natural to assume that such misinformed partisan beliefs typically involve a rational failure of some kind, and philosophers and psychologists have defended various accounts of the nature of the rational failure purportedly involved. I argue that none of (...)
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  23. Optimizing Political Influence: A Jury Theorem with Dynamic Competence and Dependence.Thomas Mulligan - forthcoming - Social Choice and Welfare.
    The purpose of this paper is to illustrate, formally, an ambiguity in the exercise of political influence. To wit: A voter might exert influence with an eye toward maximizing the probability that the political system (1) obtains the correct (e.g. just) outcome, or (2) obtains the outcome that he judges to be correct (just). And these are two very different things. A variant of Condorcet's Jury Theorem which incorporates the effect of influence on group competence and interdependence is developed. Analytic (...)
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  24. Why we should keep talking about fake news.Jessica Pepp, Eliot Michaelson & Rachel Sterken - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (4):471-487.
    In response to Habgood-Coote (2019) and a growing number of scholars who argue that academics and journalists should stop talking about fake news and abandon the term, we argue that the reasons which have been offered for eschewing the term 'fake news' are not sufficient to justify such abandonment. Prima facie, then, we take ourselves and others to be justified in continuing to talk about fake news.
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  25. How (Many) Descriptive Claims about Political Polarization Exacerbate Polarization.Uwe Peters - forthcoming - Journal of Social and Political Psychology.
    Recently, researchers and reporters have made a wide range of claims about the distribution, nature, and societal impact of political polarization. Here I offer reasons to believe that, even when they are correct and prima facie merely descriptive, many of these claims have the highly negative side effect of increasing political polarization. This is because of the interplay of two factors that have so far been neglected in the work on political polarization, namely that (1) people have a tendency to (...)
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  26. What’s so bad about echo chambers?Christopher Ranalli & Finlay Malcom - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Echo chambers have received widespread attention in recent years, but there is no agreement over whether they are always epistemically bad for us. Some argue they’re inherently epistemically bad, whilst others claim they can be epistemically good. This paper has three aims. First, to bring together recent studies in this debate, taxonomizing different ways of thinking about the epistemic status of echo chambers. Second, to consider and reject several accounts of what makes echo chambers epistemically harmful or not, and then (...)
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  27. Philosophy of Ideology.Gustavo E. Romero - forthcoming - In Javier Pérez Jara & Íñigo Ongay de Felipe (eds.), Overcoming the Nature Versus Nurture Debate. Cham: Springer.
    The concept of ideology is central to the understanding of the many political, economic, social, and cultural processes that have occurred in the last two centuries. And yet, what is the nature of the different ideologies remains a vague, open, and much disputed question. Many political, sociological, and ideological studies have been devoted to ideology. Very little, on the other hand, has been done from the philosophical field. And this despite the fact that there are undoubtedly many philosophical questions related (...)
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  28. Critical Responsiveness: How Epistemic Ideology Critique Can Make Normative Legitimacy Empirical Again.Enzo Rossi - forthcoming - Social Philosophy and Policy.
    This paper outlines an empirically-grounded account of normative political legitimacy. The main idea is to give a normative edge to empirical measures of sociological legitimacy through a non-moralised form of ideology critique. A power structure’s responsiveness to the values of those subjected to its authority can be measured empirically and may be explanatory or predictive insofar as it tracks belief in legitimacy, but by itself it lacks normative purchase: it merely describes a preference alignment, and so tells us nothing about (...)
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  29. ’Liberalism and / or Socialism?’ The Wrong Question?Scott Scheall - forthcoming - In Stéphane Guy (ed.), Liberalism and Socialism since the Nineteenth Century: Tensions, Exchanges and Convergences. London: Palgrave.
    Political questions are typically framed in normative terms, in terms of the political actions that we (or our political representatives) “ought” to take or, alternatively, in terms of the political philosophies that “should” inform our political actions. “Should we be liberals or socialists, or should we (somehow) combine liberalism and socialism?” -/- Such questions are typically posed and debates around such questions emerge with little, if any, prior consideration of a question that is, logically speaking, more fundamental: “What can we (...)
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  30. The Ethics of Belief in a Burning World.Sebastian Schmidt - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review.
    Danielle Celermajer advocates for reconceptualizing responsibility in light of the climate crisis. I argue instead that we must understand current concepts of responsibility which are implicit in actual responsibility practices. I illustrate this by appeal to the practice of holding each other responsible for our beliefs-a practice in which we are constantly involved, but which is often obscured. It extends our responsibility to involuntary aspects of our own mind and involves socially distributed cognitive duties. Cognitive responsibility is part and parcel (...)
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  31. The Philosophy of Fanaticism: Epistemic, Affective, and Political Dimensions.Leo Townsend, Ruth Rebecca Tietjen, Michael Staudigl & Hans Bernard Schmid (eds.) - forthcoming - London: Routledge.
  32. Deference to Experts.Alex Worsnip - forthcoming - In Jonathan Dancy, Ernest Sosa, Matthias Steup & Kurt Sylvan (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Especially but not exclusively in the United States, there is a significant gulf between expert opinion and public opinion on a range of important political, social, and scientific issues. Large numbers of lay people hold views contrary to the expert consensus on topics such as climate change, vaccines, and economics. Much political commentary assumes that ordinary people should defer to experts more than they do, and this view is certainly lent force by the literally deadly effects of many denials of (...)
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  33. Procreative Justice Reconceived: Shifting the Moral Gaze.Emmalon Davis - 2024 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (First View):1-23.
    This paper reconsiders Tommie Shelby's (2016) analysis of procreation in poor black communities. I identify three conceptual frames within which Shelby situates his analysis—feminization, choice-as-control, and moralization. I argue that these frames should be rejected on conceptual, empirical, and moral grounds. As I show, this framing engenders a flawed understanding of poor black women's procreative lives. I propose an alternative framework for reconceiving the relationship between poverty and procreative justice, one oriented around reproductive flourishing instead of reproductive responsibility. More generally, (...)
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  34. Bad social norms rather than bad believers: examining the role of social norms in bad beliefs.Basil Müller - 2024 - Synthese 203 (2):1-27.
    People with bad beliefs — roughly beliefs that conflict with those of the relevant experts and are maintained regardless of counter-evidence — are often cast as bad believers. Such beliefs are seen to be the result of, e.g., motivated or biased cognition and believers are judged to be epistemically irrational and blameworthy in holding them. Here I develop a novel framework to explain why people form bad beliefs. People with bad beliefs follow the social epistemic norms guiding how agents are (...)
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  35. Introduction: Hume's Political Epistemology.Elena Yi-Jia Zeng (ed.) - 2024 - Cosmos and Taxis.
  36. A puzzle of epistemic paternalism.Rory Aird - 2023 - Philosophical Psychology 36 (5):1011-1029.
    Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, conspiracy theories, misinformation, and fake news about the virus have abounded, drastically affecting global health measures to oppose it. In response, different strategies have been proposed to combat such Covid-19 collective irrationalities. One suggested approach has been that of epistemic paternalism – non-consultative interference in agents’ inquiries for their epistemic improvement. While extant literature on epistemic paternalism has mainly discussed whether it is (ever) justified, in this paper, I primarily focus (...)
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  37. The choice of efficiencies and the necessity of politics.Michael Bennett - 2023 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 26 (6):877-896.
    Efficiency requires legislative political institutions. There are many ways efficiency can be promoted, and so an ongoing legislative institution is necessary to resolve this choice in a politically sustainable and economically flexible way. This poses serious problems for classical liberal proposals to constitutionally protect markets from government intervention, as seen in the work of Ilya Somin, Guido Pincione & Fernando Tesón and others. The argument for the political nature of efficiency is set out in terms of both Pareto optimality and (...)
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  38. The Intransparency of Political Legitimacy.Matthias Brinkmann - 2023 - Philosophers' Imprint 23.
    Some moral value is transparent just in case an agent with average mental capacities can feasibly come to know whether some entity does, or does not, possess that value. In this paper, I consider whether legitimacy—that is, the property of exercises of political power to be permissible—is transparent. Implicit in much theorising about legitimacy is the idea that it is. I will offer two counter-arguments. First, injustice can defeat legitimacy, and injustice can be intransparent. Second, legitimacy can play a critical (...)
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  39. Whose Hermeneutical Marginalization?Nick Clanchy - 2023 - Episteme 20 (3):813-832.
    According to Miranda Fricker, being hindered from rendering something significant about oneself intelligible to someone constitutes a hermeneutical injustice only if it results from the hermeneutical marginalization of some group to which one belongs. A major problem for Fricker’s picture is that it cannot properly account for the paradigm case of hermeneutical injustice Fricker herself takes from Ian McEwan’s novel Enduring Love. In order to account properly for this case, I argue that being hindered from rendering something significant about oneself (...)
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  40. On Deniability.Alexander Dinges & Julia Zakkou - 2023 - Mind 132 (526):372-401.
    Communication can be risky. Like other kinds of actions, it comes with potential costs. For instance, an utterance can be embarrassing, offensive, or downright illegal. In the face of such risks, speakers tend to act strategically and seek ‘plausible deniability’. In this paper, we propose an account of the notion of deniability at issue. On our account, deniability is an epistemic phenomenon. A speaker has deniability if she can make it epistemically irrational for her audience to reason in certain ways. (...)
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  41. Rational Polarization.Kevin Dorst - 2023 - Philosophical Review 132 (3):355-458.
    Predictable polarization is everywhere: we can often predict how people’s opinions, including our own, will shift over time. Extant theories either neglect the fact that we can predict our own polarization, or explain it through irrational mechanisms. They needn’t. Empirical studies suggest that polarization is predictable when evidence is ambiguous, that is, when the rational response is not obvious. I show how Bayesians should model such ambiguity and then prove that—assuming rational updates are those which obey the value of evidence—ambiguity (...)
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  42. Artistic Exceptionalism and the Risks of Activist Art.Christopher Earley - 2023 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 81 (2):141-152.
    Activist artists often face a difficult question: is striving to change the world undermined when pursued through difficult and experimental artistic means? Looking closely at Adrian Piper's 'Four Intruders plus Alarm Systems' (1980), I will consider why this is an important concern for activist art, and assess three different responses in relation to Piper’s work. What I call the conciliatory stance recommends that when activist artists encounter misunderstanding, they should downplay their experimental artistry in favor of fitting their work to (...)
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  43. Umkämpfte Wissenschaften – zwischen Idealisierung und Verachtung.Vogelmann Frieder - 2023 - Stuttgart: Reclam.
    Über die Wissenschaften wird derzeit gestritten: über ihre Ergebnisse, ihre Methoden und ihre Praktiken. Das ist ihrer gesellschaftlichen Bedeutung angemessen. Doch so, wie der Streit derzeit geführt wird, zementiert er ein gefährlich verkürztes Verständnis, als gäbe es nur die eine Wissenschaft. Gegen die Leugnung »der Wissenschaft« errichten ihre Verteidigerinnen ihrerseits ein Ideal, das Wissenschaft gegen Kritik immunisiert, ihre Vielfalt verdeckt und Wissenschaftsleugnerinnen in die Hände spielt, da ihm keine Forschungspraxis entspricht. Gegen dieses schädliche Ideal plädiert Frieder Vogelmann für ein realistisches (...)
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  44. Political ignorance is both rational and radical.Adam F. Gibbons - 2023 - Synthese 202 (3):1-22.
    It is commonly held that political ignorance is rational, a response to the high costs and low benefits of acquiring political information. But many recent critics of the claim that political ignorance is rational instead urge that it is a simple consequence of agents not concerning themselves with the acquisition of political information whatsoever. According to such critics, political ignorance is inadvertent radical ignorance rather than a rational response to the incentives faced by agents in democracies. And since political ignorance (...)
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  45. The Politics of Post-Truth.Michael Hannon - 2023 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 35 (1):40-62.
    A prevalent political narrative is that we are facing an epistemological crisis, where many citizens no longer care about truth and facts. Yet the view that we are living in a post-truth era relies on some implicit questionable empirical and normative assumptions. The post-truth rhetoric converts epistemic issues into motivational issues, treating people with whom we disagree as if they no longer believe in or care about truth. This narrative is also dubious on epistemic, moral, and political grounds. It is (...)
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  46. Institutional Cynicism and Civic Virtue.Ian James Kidd - 2023 - In Quassim Cassam & Hana Samaržija (eds.), The Epistemology of Democracy. New York: Routledge. pp. 152-169.
    Scholars are divided on the relationship between cynicism and political life. In this chapter, I describe and endorse what I call 'institutional cynicism' and suggest it can feature within kinds of virtuous civic stances in democratic societies. I accept that some forms of cynicism can be as destructive and as anti-democratic as critics insist. Institutional cynicism, of the sort I describe, can actually make us better citizens. It turns our attention towards sub-optimal aspects of the political institutions of democratic societies, (...)
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  47. The Purpose and Limits of Electoral Accountability.Finlay Malcolm - 2023 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 24 (2).
    The standard theory of electoral accountability treats the electorate as an appraiser of government performance on a range of complex issues, which re-elects or de-elects depending on its evaluation of that performance. This paper draws from studies on voter knowledge and behaviour to present a dilemma for the standard theory: either voters do not know how well their rulers have performed, or if they do, they do not base their votes on that knowledge. It is shown that, on either horn (...)
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  48. Hidden Depths: Testimonial Injustice, Deep Disagreement, and Democratic Deliberation.Aidan McGlynn - 2023 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 31 (3):361-381.
    .Deep disagreements are those involving a disagreement about (relatively) fundamental epistemic principles. This paper considers the bearing of testimonial injustice, in Miranda Fricker’s sense, on the depth of disagreements, and what this can teach us about the nature and significance of deep disagreements. I start by re-evaluating T. J. Lagewaard’s recent argument that disagreements about the nature, scope, and impact of oppression will often be deepened by testimonial injustice, since the people best placed to offer relevant testimony will be subject (...)
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  49. Non-Ideal Epistemology.Robin McKenna - 2023 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Robin McKenna argues that we need to make space for an approach to epistemology that avoids the idealizations typical of the field. He applies this approach to topics in applied and social epistemology, such as what to do about science denial, whether we should try to be intellectually autonomous, and what our obligations are to other inquirers.
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  50. Refusing the COVID-19 vaccine: What’s wrong with that?Anne Meylan & Sebastian Schmidt - 2023 - Philosophical Psychology 36 (6):1102-1124.
    COVID-19 vaccine refusal seems like a paradigm case of irrationality. Vaccines are supposed to be the best way to get us out of the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet many people believe that they should not be vaccinated even though they are dissatisfied with the current situation. In this paper, we analyze COVID-19 vaccine refusal with the tools of contemporary philosophical theories of responsibility and rationality. The main outcome of this analysis is that many vaccine-refusers are responsible for the belief that (...)
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