The Case for Modelled Democracy

Episteme 19 (1):89-110 (2022)
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The fact that most of us are ignorant on politically relevant matters presents a problem for democracy. In light of this, some have suggested that we should impose epistemic constraints on democratic participation, and specifically that the franchise be restricted along competency lines – a suggestion that in turn runs the risk of violating a long-standing condition on political legitimacy to the effect that legitimate political arrangements cannot be open to reasonable objections. The present paper therefore outlines a way to solve the problem of public ignorance without restricting the franchise. The proposal involves filtering the electoral input of a universal franchise through a statistical model that simulates what the public's political preferences would have been, had they been informed on politically relevant matters. The result is modelled democracy. A case is made that such democracy both solves the problem of public ignorance and satisfies the aforementioned condition on legitimacy.



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Citations of this work

Is Epistocracy Irrational?Adam F. Gibbons - 2022 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 21 (2).
Finding the Epistocrats.Brian Kogelmann - 2023 - Episteme 20 (2):497-512.
Meritocracy.Thomas Mulligan - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
There is no right to a competent electorate.Brian Kogelmann & Jeffrey Carroll - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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