The Epistemic Responsibilities of Voters: Towards an Assertion-Based Account

Journal of Moral Philosophy (1-2):1-21 (2022)
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It is often claimed that democratic voters have epistemic responsibilities. However, it is not often specified why voters have such epistemic responsibilities. In this paper, I contend that voters have epistemic responsibilities because voting is best understood as an act that bears assertoric force. More precisely, voters perform what I call an act of political advocacy whereby, like an asserter who states or affirms that something is the case, they state or affirm that a certain course of political action is the one that should be followed or enacted. Consequently, the performance of acts of political advocacy such as voting should be understood as bounded by epistemic norms mirroring those binding the act of assertion and yield epistemic responsibilities mirroring the ones required to satisfy these norms.

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Michele Giavazzi
University of Aberdeen

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