Liberal Foundations of Democratic Authority

Representation 46 (1):19-34 (2010)
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In Democratic Authority, David Estlund argues that decision-procedures are to be judged solely by their tendency to generate morally superior decisions, but that because any relationship of authority must be acceptable to all qualified moral points of view, the epistemic benefits of less equal procedures must be evident beyond qualified objection. If all doctrines involved in political justification must be qualifiedly acceptable, however, the qualified acceptability requirement must itself be acceptable to qualified points of view. This article provides reasons for doubting that this ‘insularity’ can be achieved, and explores ways of reformulating the principle so that it does not exclude itself.



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Andrew Lister
Queen's University

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