Disagreement and epistemic arguments for democracy

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 12 (2):136-155 (2013)
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Recent accounts of epistemic democracy aim to show that in some qualified sense, democratic institutions have a tendency to produce reasonable outcomes. Epistemic democrats aim to offer such accounts without presupposing any narrow, controversial view of what the outcomes of democratic procedures should be, much as a good justification of a particular scientific research design does not presuppose the hypothesis that the research aims to test. The article considers whether this aim is achievable. It asks, in particular, whether accounts of epistemic democracy can be reconciled with the commonly held view that disagreement about which laws and policies should be enacted is a fundamental, permanent feature of democratic politics and imposes constraints on how we justify democratic procedures.



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Sean Ingham
University of California, San Diego

Citations of this work

The Epistemic Value of Democratic Deliberation.David Estlund - 2018 - In Jane Mansbridge, Andre Baechtiger, John Dryzek & Mark Warren (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy. Oxford University Press.
The Power of the Multitude: Answering Epistemic Challenges to Democracy.Samuel Bagg - 2018 - American Political Science Review 4 (112):891-904.
Yes, We Can (Make It Up on Volume): Answers to Critics.Hélène Landemore - 2014 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 26 (1-2):184-237.
What is democratic reliability? Epistemic theories of democracy and the problem of reasonable disagreement.Felix Gerlsbeck - 2018 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 21 (2):218-241.

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