Res Publica 25 (2):283-293 (2019)

Authors
Lachlan Umbers
University of New South Wales
Abstract
Elitist scepticism of democracy has a venerable history. This paper responds to the latest round of such scepticism—the ‘competence objection’, articulated in recent work by Jason Brennan. Brennan’s charge is that democracy is unjust because it allows uninformed, irrational, and morally unreasonable voters to exercise power over high-stakes political decisions, thus imposing undue risk upon the citizenry. I show that Brennan’s objection admits of two interpretations, and argue that neither can be sustained on close examination. Along the way, I consider the merits of Brennan’s preferred ‘epistocratic’ alternative to democracy, and argue that it is likely to lead to lower-quality outcomes.
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DOI 10.1007/s11158-018-9395-4
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Against Democracy: New Preface.Jason Brennan - 2016 - Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Enfranchising the Youth.Lachlan Montgomery Umbers - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (6):732-755.

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