In Miranda Fricker Michael Brady (ed.), The Epistemic Life of Groups. pp. 133 - 149 (2016)

Authors
Fabienne Peter
University of Warwick
Abstract
Does political decision-making require experts or can a democracy be trusted to make correct decisions? This question has a long-standing tradition in political philosophy, going back at least to Plato’s Republic. Critics of democracy tend to argue that democracy cannot be trusted in this way while advocates tend to argue that it can. Both camps agree that it is the epistemic quality of the outcomes of political decision-making processes that underpins the legitimacy of political institutions. In recent political philosophy, epistemic democrats have embraced this instrumentalist way of thinking about democracy. In this chapter, I argue that the attempt to defend democracy on epistemic instrumentalist grounds is self-undermining. I also develop an alternative – procedural – epistemic defence of democracy. I show that there is a prima facie epistemic case for democracy when there is no procedure-independent epistemic authority on the issue to be decided.
Keywords democratic theory  epistemic democracy  peer disagreements
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
Peer Disagreement and Higher Order Evidence.Thomas Kelly - 2010 - In Alvin I. Goldman & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.), Social Epistemology: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press. pp. 183--217.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Empathetic Understanding and Deliberative Democracy.Michael Hannon - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (3):591-611.
The Epistemic Dimension of Reasonableness.Federica Liveriero - 2015 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 41 (6):517-535.

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