Filozofija I Društvo 33 (1):98-119 (2022)

In this paper, I examine the view that, surprisingly, the more citizens deliberate about politics, the less likely they are to participate in the realm of the political, and vice versa. In the first part of the paper, I approach the problem from the perspective of the paradox of voting, the claim that voting itself is instrumentally irrational because of the very low probability that a single vote will make any difference at the elections. In the second part of the paper, I argue that rather than analyzing voting instrumentally, it is better to view it as part of the civic commitments that constitute what it means to be a citizen in a democratic society. The act of voting is not primarily an individual?s attempt to decisively influence any particular outcome, but an affirmation of the key practice that upholds the democratic society in which citizens play a part. This reveals a meta-paradox of voting. Namely, to not vote is to exhibit a type of behavior that implies acceptance of democracy simultaneously with rejecting its defining component. Because of that, I will claim, not voting is itself irrational. In light of that conclusion, in the third part of the paper, I explore the extant divide between deliberation and participation by referring back to the analysis of civic commitments. Whereas participation without deliberating reveals ideological bias, deliberation without participation expresses a lack of understanding of what it means to be a citizen. The way to connect them is to engage in a process of attaining reflective equilibrium between the two, starting from the practice of deliberation that would be fully informed by the awareness of our democratic commitments and disconnected from ideologically motivated participation.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2298/fid2201098s
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,307
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):353-356.
Why Deliberative Democracy?Amy Gutmann & Dennis F. Thompson - 2004 - Princeton University Press.
Law and Disagreement.Jeremy Waldron - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
How to Make Our Ideas Clear.C. S. Peirce - 1878 - Popular Science Monthly 12 (Jan.):286-302.

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Democratic Deliberation and Social Choice: A Review.Christian List - 2018 - In André Bächtiger, Jane Mansbridge, John Dryzek & Mark Warren (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Clap Happy: Applause and the Voting Paradox.Steven Pressman - 2006 - Journal of Economic Methodology 13 (2):241-256.
Ethical Considerations on Quadratic Voting.Ben Laurence & Itai Sher - 2017 - Public Choice 1 (172):175-192.
A Survey Study of Voting Behavior and Political Participation in Zhejiang.Baogang He - 2006 - Japanese Journal of Political Science 7 (3):225-250.
Democratic Public Justification.Alexander Motchoulski - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (7):844-861.


Added to PP index

Total views
1 ( #1,546,483 of 2,507,717 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,820 of 2,507,717 )

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes