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  1.  44
    Deliberative democracy and the problem of tacit knowledge.Jonathan Benson - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (1):76-97.
    This article defends deliberative democracy against the problem of tacit knowledge. It has been argued that deliberative democracy gives a privileged position to linguistic communication and therefore excludes tacit forms of knowledge which cannot be expressed propositionally. This article shows how the exclusion of such knowledge presents important challenges to both proceduralist and epistemic conceptions of deliberative democracy, and how it has been taken by some to favour markets over democratic institutions. After pointing to the limitations of market alternatives, deliberative (...)
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  2. Democracy and the Epistemic Problems of Political Polarization.Jonathan Benson - forthcoming - American Political Science Review.
    Political polarization is one of the most discussed challenges facing contemporary democracies and is often associated with a broader epistemic crisis. While inspiring a large literature in political science, polarization’s epistemic problems also have significance for normative democratic theory, and this study develops a new approach aimed at understanding them. In contrast to prominent accounts from political psychology—group polarization theory and cultural cognition theory—which argue that polarization leads individuals to form unreliable political beliefs, this study focuses on system-level diversity. It (...)
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  3.  21
    Exit, Voice and Technocracy.Jonathan Benson - 2020 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 32 (1-3):32-61.
    ABSTRACT In Power Without Knowledge, Jeffrey Friedman develops a critique of technocracy and in doing so makes an epistemic case for exit over voice. He argues that a technocracy that fails to take people’s ideational heterogeneity into account is unlikely to possess the knowledge required to solve social problems, and that the alternative of “exitocracy” may, in some cases, overcome these limits. By creating the conditions under which individuals can exit from undesirable social situations, an exitocracy may allow people to (...)
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  4.  62
    The epistemic value of deliberative democracy: how far can diversity take us?Jonathan Benson - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8257-8279.
    This paper contributes to growing debates over the decision-making ability of democracy by considering the epistemic value of deliberative democracy. It focuses on the benefits democratic deliberation can derive from its diversity, and the extent to which these benefits can be realised with respect to the complexities of political problems. The paper first calls attention to the issue of complexity through a critique of Hélène Landemore and the Diversity Trumps Ability Theorem. This approach underestimates complexity due to its reliance on (...)
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  5.  42
    Environmental law & the limits of markets.Jonathan Benson - 2018 - Cambridge Journal of Economics 42 (1):215–230.
    A number of writers have drawn on Hayek’s epistemic defence of market institutions to argue that free-markets and tort law are best placed to overcome the knowledge problems associated with the environmental sphere. This paper argues to the contrary, that this Austrian School approach itself suffers from significant knowledge problems. The first of these relates to the ability of Austrian economics to assign victim compensation and the second to the difficulty of establishing causation in complex environmental problems. The paper will (...)
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  6.  20
    Epistemic problems in Hayek’s defence of free markets.Jonathan Benson - forthcoming - Economics and Philosophy:1-23.
    Friedrich von Hayek’s classical liberalism argued that free markets allow individuals the greatest opportunity to achieve their ends. This paper develops an internal critique of this claim. It argues that once externalities are introduced, the forms of economic knowledge Hayek thought to undermine government action and orthodox utilitarianism also rule out relative welfarist assessments of more or less regulated markets. Given the pervasiveness of externalities in modern economies, Hayek will frequently be unable to make comparative welfarist claims, or he must (...)
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  7.  63
    Knowledge and Communication in Democratic Politics: Markets, Forums and Systems.Jonathan Benson - 2019 - Political Studies 67 (2):422-439.
    Epistemic questions have become an important area of debate within democratic theory. Epistemic democrats have revived epistemic justification of democracy, while social scientific research has speared a significant debate on voter knowledge. An area which has received less attention, however, is the epistemic case for markets. Market advocates have developed a number of epistemic critiques of democracy which suggest that most goods are better provided by markets than democratic institutions. Despite representing important challenges to democracy, these critiques have gone without (...)
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  8. Against Democracy Jason Brennan, 2016 Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press 296 pp., £17.25. [REVIEW]Jonathan Benson - 2016 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (3):637-639.