David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Acta Analytica 27 (2):199-216 (2012)
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|
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References found in this work BETA
Duncan Pritchard (2005). Epistemic Luck. Clarendon Press.
Timothy Williamson (2000). Knowledge and its Limits. Oxford University Press.
Jonathan L. Kvanvig (2003). The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding. Cambridge University Press.
Iris Marion Young (2000). Inclusion and Democracy. Oxford University Press.
Michael A. Bishop (2005). Epistemology and the Psychology of Human Judgment. Oxford University Press.
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