Political testimony

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (1):23-45 (2019)
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I argue that reliance on political testimony conflicts with two democratic values: the value of mutual justifiability and the value of equality of opportunity for political influence. Reliance on political testimony is characterized by a reliance on the assertions of others directly on a political question the citizen is asked to answer as part of a formal democratic decision procedure. Reliance on expert testimony generally, even in the context of political decision-making, does not similarly conflict with democratic values. As a consequence of the argument, citizens have a pro tanto reason to rely on their own political judgment when determining their vote, and democratic societies have a reason to only ask citizens questions they are able to answer without reliance on political testimony.



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Han van Wietmarschen
University College London

Citations of this work

Political legitimacy.Fabienne Peter - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
What's Wrong with Partisan Deference?Elise Woodard - forthcoming - In Worsnip Alex (ed.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology, Vol. 8. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Testimony of Oppression and the Limits of Empathy.Katharina Anna Sodoma - 2024 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 27 (2):185-202.

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References found in this work

Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Rule Over None II: Social Equality and the Justification of Democracy.Niko Kolodny - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (4):287-336.
Against Elections: The Lottocratic Alternative.Alexander A. Guerrero - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (2):135-178.

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