What should the voter know? Epistemic trust in democracy

Grazer Philosophische Studien 79 (1):159-186 (2009)
Abstract
Alvin Goldman develops the concept of “core voter knowledge” to capture the kind of knowledge that voters need to have in order that democracy function successfully. As democracy is supposed to promote the people's goals, core voter knowledge must, according to Goldman, first and foremost answer the question which electoral candidate would successfully perform in achieving that voter's ends. In our paper we challenge this concept of core voter knowledge from different angles. We analyse the dimensions of political trustworthiness and their relevance for the voter; we contrast two alternative orientations that the voter might take—an “outcome-orientation” and a “process-orientation”; and we discuss how an expressive account of voting behaviour would shift the focus in regard to the content of voter knowledge. Finally, we discuss some varieties of epistemic trust and their relevance for the availability, acquisition and dissemination of voter knowledge in a democracy.
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Michael Fuerstein (2013). Epistemic Trust and Liberal Justification. Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (2):179-199.
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