Can a Wise Society be Free? Gilbert, Group Knowledge and Democratic Theory

Ethics, Politics and Society 3:28-48 (2020)
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Abstract

Recently, Margaret Gilbert has argued that it appears that the wisdom of a society impinges, greatly, on its freedom. In this article, I show that Gilbert’s “negative argument” fails to be convincing. On the other hand, there are important lessons, particularly for democratic theory, that can be by looking carefully, and critically, at her argument. This article will proceed as follows. First, I present Gilbert’s argument. Next, I criticize her understanding of freedom, and then, using arguments from Christopher McMahon, criticize her understanding of a wise society. Finally, I discuss how what has been said can inform how one should think about democratic theory.

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Joshua Anderson
Virginia State University

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References found in this work

Democratic Intentions.Henry S. Richardson - 1997 - Modern Schoolman 74 (4):285-300.
Can a Wise Society Be a Free One?Margaret Gilbert - 2006 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (S1):151-167.
Collective Wisdom and Individual Freedom.Christopher McMahon - 2006 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (S1):168-176.

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