On the Compatibility of Epistocracy and Public Reason

Social Theory and Practice 41 (3):458-476 (2015)
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Abstract

In "epistocratic" forms of government, political power is wielded by those who possess the knowledge relevant to good policymaking. Some democrats--notably, David Estlund--concede that epistocracy might produce better political outcomes than democracy but argue that epistocracy cannot be justified under public reason. These objections to epistocracy are unsound because they violate a viability constraint: they are also fatal to democracy and all other plausible political arrangements. Moreover, there is a problem with the public reason framework itself--a problem that can only be solved by providing a better definition for what makes an objection to a political arrangement a "reasonable" one.

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Thomas Mulligan
Georgetown University

Citations of this work

Plural Voting for the Twenty-First Century.Thomas Mulligan - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):286-306.
An Epistemic Problem for Epistocracy.María Pía Méndez - 2022 - Social Epistemology 36 (2):153-166.

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