Pure epistemic proceduralism

Episteme 5 (1):pp. 33-55 (2008)
In this paper I defend a pure proceduralist conception of legitimacy that applies to epistemic democracy. This conception, which I call pure epistemic proceduralism, does not depend on procedure-independent standards for good outcomes and relies on a proceduralist epistemology. It identifies a democratic decision as legitimate if it is the outcome of a process that satisfies certain conditions of political and epistemic fairness. My argument starts with a rejection of instrumentalism – the view that political equality is only instrumentally valuable. I reject instrumentalism on two grounds: (i) because it fails to respect reasonable value pluralism and to recognize the constitutive role of democratic procedures for legitimacy in pluralist societies, and (ii) because it neglects the constructive function of democratic decision-making. I then consider two alternatives to pure epistemic proceduralism: David Estlund's version of epistemic proceduralism and a Deweyan account of epistemic democracy. I argue that only pure epistemic proceduralism can make good on both shortcomings of instrumentalism, whereas each of the other two approaches only makes good on one and neglects the other.
Keywords epistemic democracy  democratic legitimacy
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DOI 10.3366/E1742360008000221
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References found in this work BETA
John Rawls (1993). Political Liberalism. Columbia University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
James Gledhill (forthcoming). The Ideal and Reality of Epistemic Proceduralism. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-22.

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