Critical Review 26 (1-2):129-150 (2014)

ABSTRACTHélène Landemore's Democratic Reason offers a new justification for democracy and for broad-based citizen participation, appealing to the “emergent” intelligence of large, diverse groups. She argues that ordinary citizens should rule as directly as possible because they will make better informed, more intelligent decisions than, for example, appointed officials, councils of experts, or even elected representatives. The foundation of this conclusion is the premise that “diversity trumps ability” in a wide range of contexts. But the main support for that claim is merely a series of computer experiments that are strongly biased toward that result and tell us essentially nothing about decision making in real-world political settings. Moreover, Landemore's analyses of alternative forms of rule deal only in abstract comparisons between sharply distinguished ideal types. Among other difficulties, they entirely overlook the central consideration in such comparisons: the relative ability of any decision-making process to go beyond stereotyped, intrinsic strategies and integrate multiple sources and varieties of information. In the end, Landemore's claims for the superior intelligence of broadly participatory forms are thus not supported by credible evidence.
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DOI 10.1080/08913811.2014.907046
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References found in this work BETA

Participation and Democratic Theory.Carole Pateman - 1975 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Yes, We Can : Answers to Critics.Hélène Landemore - 2014 - Critical Review 26 (1-2):184-237.
Political Epistemology.Jeffrey Friedman - 2014 - Critical Review 26 (1-2):1-32.
Are Dissenters Epistemically Arrogant?Tine Hindkjaer Madsen - forthcoming - Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-23.

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