Democracy and Moral Inquiry: Problems of the Methodological Argument

Abstract

Why is democracy good, or preferable to other systems of governance and political decision-making? Democracy has been argued to incorporate or promote central values, such as equality or freedom. On the other hand, many contemporary defenses of democracy have relied on arguments that attempt to show that democracy promotes or enables some second-order good, such as the validity, justification or legitimacy of political decision-making. Recent decades have seen the rise of epistemic arguments for democracy that belong to this latter type. For example, David Estlund has proposed that democracy is epistemically preferable among the societal arrangements that could be acceptable to all citizens. In turn...

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