What's so Good about a Wise and Knowledgeable Public?

Acta Analytica 27 (2):199-216 (2012)
Abstract
Political philosophers have been concerned for some time with the epistemic caliber of the general public, qua the body that is, ultimately, tasked with political decision-making in democratic societies. Unfortunately, the empirical data paints a pretty dismal picture here, indicating that the public tends to be largely ignorant on the issues relevant to governance. To make matters worse, social psychological research on how ignorance tends to breed overconfidence gives us reason to believe that the public will not only lack knowledge on the relevant issues, but also wisdom, in the Socratic sense of an awareness of your ignorance. It might be thought that an obvious remedy would be to increase the knowledge and wisdom of the public. However, as far as sound political decision-making and action is concerned, there is nothing particularly valuable about knowledge or wisdom per se—irrespective of what account of wisdom available in the literature we opt for. In fact, it might just be that what the public needs is nothing but the most basic epistemic good: true belief.
Keywords Knowledge  Wisdom  Overconfidence  Public ignorance
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,005
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Earl Conee (1998). Seeing the Truth. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (4):847-857.

View all 25 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Nicholas Maxwell (2003). Science, Knowledge, Wisdom and the Public Good. Scientists for Global Responsibility Newsletter (26 February 2003):7-9.
Micah Schwartzman (2004). The Completeness of Public Reason. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 3 (2):191-220.
Fabienne Peter (2007). Rawls' Idea of Public Reason and Democratic Legitimacy. Journal of International Political Theory 3 (1):129-143.
Andrew Lister (2008). Public Reason and Democracy. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 11 (3):273-289.
Jonny Anomaly (2011). Public Health and Public Goods. Public Health Ethics 4 (3):251-259.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-09-16

Total downloads

82 ( #15,673 of 1,101,142 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

14 ( #12,298 of 1,101,142 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.