People Do Not Have a Duty to Avoid Voting Badly: Reply to Brennan

Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 5 (1):1-6 (2010)
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Jason Brennan argues that people are morally obligated not to vote badly, where voting badly is voting “without sufficient reason” for harmful or unjust policies or candidates. His argument is: (1) One has an obligation not to engage in collectively harmful activities when refraining from such activities does not impose significant personal costs. (2) Voting badly is to engage in a collectively harmful activity, while abstaining imposes low personal costs. (3) Therefore, one should not vote badly. This paper shows that Brennan never adequately clarifies (1) and that, on every plausible clarification, (2) is false.



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Marcus Arvan
University of Tampa

Citations of this work

Voter Motivation.Adam Lovett - 2022 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 21 (3).

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References found in this work

Polluting the Polls: When Citizens Should Not Vote.Jason Brennan - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):535-549.

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