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  1. Deliberation, Single-Peakedness, and the Possibility of Meaningful Democracy: Evidence From Deliberative Polls.Christian List, Robert C. Luskin, James S. Fishkin & Iain McLean - 2013 - Journal of Politics 75 (1):80–95.
    Majority cycling and related social choice paradoxes are often thought to threaten the meaningfulness of democracy. But deliberation can prevent majority cycles – not by inducing unanimity, which is unrealistic, but by bringing preferences closer to single-peakedness. We present the first empirical test of this hypothesis, using data from Deliberative Polls. Comparing preferences before and after deliberation, we find increases in proximity to single-peakedness. The increases are greater for lower versus higher salience issues and for individuals who seem to have (...)
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  • Enfranchising the Youth.Lachlan Montgomery Umbers - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (6):732-755.
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  • Voting Procedures for Complex Collective Decisions. An Epistemic Perspective.Luc Bovens & Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2004 - Ratio Juris 17 (2):241-258.
    Suppose a committee or a jury confronts a complex question, the answer to which requires attending to several sub-questions. Two different voting procedures can be used. On one, the committee members vote on each sub-question and the voting results are used as premises for the committee’s conclusion on the main issue. This premise-based procedure can be contrasted with the conclusion-based approach, which requires the members to directly vote on the conclusion, with the vote of each member being guided by her (...)
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  • Intuitions, Biases, and Extra-Wide Reflective Equilibrium.Samuel Director - forthcoming - Metaphilosophy.
    It seems that intuitions are indispensable in philosophical theorizing. Yet, there is evidence that our intuitions are heavily influenced by biases. This generates a puzzle: we must use our intuitions, but we seemingly cannot fully trust those very intuitions. In this paper, I develop a methodology for philosophical theorizing which attempts to avoid this puzzle. Specifically, I develop and defend a methodology that I call Extra-Wide Reflective Equilibrium. I argue that this method allows us to use intuitions, while also providing (...)
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  • Knowledge From Vice: Deeply Social Epistemology.Neil Levy & Mark Alfano - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):887-915.
    In the past two decades, epistemologists have significantly expanded the focus of their field. To the traditional question that has dominated the debate — under what conditions does belief amount to knowledge? — they have added questions about testimony, epistemic virtues and vices, epistemic trust, and more. This broadening of the range of epistemic concern has coincided with an expansion in conceptions of epistemic agency beyond the individualism characteristic of most earlier epistemology. We believe that these developments have not gone (...)
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  • From Pragmatism to Perfectionism: Cheryl Misak's Epistemic Deliberativism.Robert B. Talisse - 2007 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (3):387-406.
    In recent work, Cheryl Misak has developed a novel justification of deliberative democracy rooted in Peircean epistemology. In this article, the author expands Misak's arguments to show that not only does Peircean pragmatism provide a justification for deliberative democracy that is more compelling than the justifications offered by competing liberal and discursivist views, but also fixes a specific conception of deliberative politics that is perfectionist rather than neutralist. The article concludes with a discussion of whether the `epistemic perfectionism' implied by (...)
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  • Concept, Principle, and Norm—Equality Before the Law Reconsidered.Frej Klem Thomsen - 2018 - Legal Theory 24 (2):103-134.
    Despite the attention equality before the law has received, both laudatory and critical, peculiarly little has been done to precisely define it. The first ambition of this paper is to remedy this, by exploring the various ways in which a principle of equality before the law can be understood and suggest a concise definition. With a clearer understanding of the principle in hand we are better equipped to assess traditional critique of the principle. Doing so is the second ambition of (...)
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  • Empathetic Understanding and Deliberative Democracy.Michael Hannon - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Epistemic democracy is standardly characterized in terms of “aiming at truth”. This presupposes a veritistic conception of epistemic value, according to which truth is the fundamental epistemic goal. I will raise an objection to the standard (veritistic) account of epistemic democracy, focusing specifically on deliberative democracy. I then propose a version of deliberative democracy that is grounded in non-veritistic epistemic goals. In particular, I argue that deliberation is valuable because it facilitates empathetic understanding. I claim that empathetic understanding is an (...)
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  • Jury Theorems.Franz Dietrich & Kai Spiekermann - 2020 - In M. Fricker (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Social Epistemology. New York and Abingdon:
    We give a review and critique of jury theorems from a social-epistemology perspective, covering Condorcet’s (1785) classic theorem and several later refinements and departures. We assess the plausibility of the conclusions and premises featuring in jury theorems and evaluate the potential of such theorems to serve as formal arguments for the ‘wisdom of crowds’. In particular, we argue (i) that there is a fundamental tension between voters’ independence and voters’ competence, hence between the two premises of most jury theorems; (ii) (...)
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  • Aggregating Causal Judgments.Richard Bradley, Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):491-515.
    Decision-making typically requires judgments about causal relations: we need to know the causal effects of our actions and the causal relevance of various environmental factors. We investigate how several individuals' causal judgments can be aggregated into collective causal judgments. First, we consider the aggregation of causal judgments via the aggregation of probabilistic judgments, and identify the limitations of this approach. We then explore the possibility of aggregating causal judgments independently of probabilistic ones. Formally, we introduce the problem of causal-network aggregation. (...)
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  • Epistemic Network Injustice.Kai Spiekermann - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 19 (1):83-101.
    To find out what is in one’s own best interest, it is helpful to ask one’s epistemic peers. However, identifying one’s epistemic peers is not a trivial task. I consider a stylized political setting, an electoral competition of ‘Masses’ and ‘Elites’. To succeed, the Masses need to know which alternative on offer is truly in their interest. To find out, the Masses can pool their privately held information in a pre-election ballot, provided that they can reliably find out with whom (...)
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  • Vindicating Methodological Triangulation.Remco Heesen, Liam Kofi Bright & Andrew Zucker - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3067-3081.
    Social scientists use many different methods, and there are often substantial disagreements about which method is appropriate for a given research question. In response to this uncertainty about the relative merits of different methods, W. E. B. Du Bois advocated for and applied “methodological triangulation”. This is to use multiple methods simultaneously in the belief that, where one is uncertain about the reliability of any given method, if multiple methods yield the same answer that answer is confirmed more strongly than (...)
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  • What Militant Democrats and Technocrats Share.Anthoula Malkopoulou - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-24.
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  • Some Remarks on the Probability of Cycles - Appendix 3 to 'Epistemic Democracy: Generalizing the Condorcet Jury Theorem'.Christian List - 2001 - Journal of Political Philosophy 9 (3).
    This item was published as 'Appendix 3: An Implication of the k-option Condorcet jury mechanism for the probability of cycles' in List and Goodin (2001) http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/705/. Standard results suggest that the probability of cycles should increase as the number of options increases and also as the number of individuals increases. These results are, however, premised on a so-called "impartial culture" assumption: any logically possible preference ordering is assumed to be as likely to be held by an individual as any other. (...)
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  • Are Dissenters Epistemically Arrogant?Tine Hindkjaer Madsen - forthcoming - Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-23.
    “One who elects to serve mankind by taking the law into his own hands thereby demonstrates his conviction that his own ability to determine policy is superior to democratic decision making. [Defendants’] professed unselfish motivation, rather than a justification, actually identifies a form of arrogance which organized society cannot tolerate.” Those were the words of Justice Harris L. Hartz at the sentencing hearing of three nuns convicted of trespassing and vandalizing government property to demonstrate against U.S. foreign policy. Citizens engaging (...)
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  • Majority Voting on Restricted Domains.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2010 - Journal of Economic Theory 145 (2):512-543.
    In judgment aggregation, unlike preference aggregation, not much is known about domain restrictions that guarantee consistent majority outcomes. We introduce several conditions on individual judgments su¢ - cient for consistent majority judgments. Some are based on global orders of propositions or individuals, others on local orders, still others not on orders at all. Some generalize classic social-choice-theoretic domain conditions, others have no counterpart. Our most general condition generalizes Sen’s triplewise value-restriction, itself the most general classic condition. We also prove a (...)
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  • Is Peer Review a Good Idea?Remco Heesen & Liam Kofi Bright - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz029.
    Prepublication peer review should be abolished. We consider the effects that such a change will have on the social structure of science, paying particular attention to the changed incentive structure and the likely effects on the behaviour of individual scientists. We evaluate these changes from the perspective of epistemic consequentialism. We find that where the effects of abolishing prepublication peer review can be evaluated with a reasonable level of confidence based on presently available evidence, they are either positive or neutral. (...)
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  • One Standard to Rule Them All?Marc‐Kevin Daoust - 2019 - Ratio 32 (1):12-21.
    It has been argued that an epistemically rational agent’s evidence is subjectively mediated through some rational epistemic standards, and that there are incompatible but equally rational epistemic standards available to agents. This supports Permissiveness, the view according to which one or multiple fully rational agents are permitted to take distinct incompatible doxastic attitudes towards P (relative to a body of evidence). In this paper, I argue that the above claims entail the existence of a unique and more reliable epistemic standard. (...)
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  • Moral Disagreement and Higher-Order Evidence.Klemens Kappel & Frederik J. Andersen - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (5):1103-1120.
    This paper sketches a general account of how to respond in an epistemically rational way to moral disagreement. Roughly, the account states that when two parties, A and B, disagree as to whether p, A says p while B says not-p, this is higher-order evidence that A has made a cognitive error on the first-order level of reasoning in coming to believe that p. If such higher-order evidence is not defeated, then one rationally ought to reduce one’s confidence with respect (...)
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  • Participation, Legitimacy, and the Epistemic Dimension of Deliberative Democracy.Jeremy Butler - 2017 - Social Philosophy Today 33:55-72.
    The aim of this paper is to elucidate a significant epistemic dimension of deliberative democracy. I argue that the role of citizens’ political judgments in deliberative democratic theory commits deliberative democracy to a view of deliberation as an essentially epistemic enterprise, one aimed at identifying correct answers to questions of political morality. This epistemic reading stands in contrast to prevailing views of deliberative democracy that tend to hold that the normatively significant function of deliberation is merely to legitimate democratic decisions, (...)
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  • Ambiguity and Vagueness in Political Terminology: On Coding and Referential Imprecision.Keith Dowding & William Bosworth - 2018 - European Journal of Political Theory.
    Analytic political philosophy tries to make our political language more precise. But in doing so it risks departing from our natural language and intuitions. This article examines this tension. We...
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  • Epistemic Democracy with Defensible Premises.Franz Dietrich & Kai Spiekermann - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (1):87--120.
    The contemporary theory of epistemic democracy often draws on the Condorcet Jury Theorem to formally justify the ‘wisdom of crowds’. But this theorem is inapplicable in its current form, since one of its premises – voter independence – is notoriously violated. This premise carries responsibility for the theorem's misleading conclusion that ‘large crowds are infallible’. We prove a more useful jury theorem: under defensible premises, ‘large crowds are fallible but better than small groups’. This theorem rehabilitates the importance of deliberation (...)
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  • General Representation of Epistemically Optimal Procedures.Franz Dietrich - 2006 - Social Choice and Welfare 2 (26):263-283.
    Assuming that votes are independent, the epistemically optimal procedure in a binary collective choice problem is known to be a weighted supermajority rule with weights given by personal log-likelihood-ratios. It is shown here that an analogous result holds in a much more general model. Firstly, the result follows from a more basic principle than expected-utility maximisation, namely from an axiom (Epistemic Monotonicity) which requires neither utilities nor prior probabilities of the ‘correctness’ of alternatives. Secondly, a person’s input need not be (...)
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  • Democracy: Two Models.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2011 - In .
    The point of departure in my story is the contrast between two models of democratic voting process: popular democracy and what might be called committee democracy. On one interpretation, voting in popular democracy is a procedure whose function is to aggregate the individuals’ preferences to something like a collective preference, while in committee democracy what is being aggregated are committee members’ judgments. The relevant judgments on the agenda often address an evaluative question. It is such value judgments that this paper (...)
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  • Conocimiento y justificación en la epistemología democrática.Marc Jiménez Rolland - 2018 - In Mario Gensollen & Anna Estany (eds.), Democracia y conocimiento. Aguascalientes, México; Barcelona, España: Univerisdad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, IMAC. pp. 153-182.
    Una de las bifurcaciones en el debate contemporáneo sobre la legitimidad de la democracia explora si ésta ofrece ventajas distintivamente epistémicas frente a otras alternativas políticas. Quienes defienden la tesis de la democracia epistémica afirman que la democracia es instrumentalmente superior o equiparable a otras formas de organización política en lo que concierne a la obtención de varios bienes epistémicos. En este ensayo presento dos (grupos de) argumentos a favor de la democracia epistémica, que se inspiran en resultados formales: el (...)
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  • Why Should We Care What the Public Thinks? A Critical Assessment of the Claims of Popular Punishment.Frej Klem Thomsen - 2014 - In Jesper Ryberg & Julian Roberts (eds.), Popular Punishment. Oxford University Press. pp. 119-145.
    The article analyses the necessary conditions an argument for popular punishment would need to meet, and argues that it faces the challenge of a dilemma of reasonableness: either popular views on punishment are unreasonable, in which case they should carry no weight, or they are reasonable, in which case the reasons that support them, not the views, should carry weight. It proceeds to present and critically discuss three potential solutions to the dilemma, arguing that only an argument for the beneficial (...)
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  • The Threat of Algocracy: Reality, Resistance and Accommodation.John Danaher - 2016 - Philosophy and Technology 29 (3):245-268.
    One of the most noticeable trends in recent years has been the increasing reliance of public decision-making processes on algorithms, i.e. computer-programmed step-by-step instructions for taking a given set of inputs and producing an output. The question raised by this article is whether the rise of such algorithmic governance creates problems for the moral or political legitimacy of our public decision-making processes. Ignoring common concerns with data protection and privacy, it is argued that algorithmic governance does pose a significant threat (...)
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  • Democratic Epistemology and Democratic Morality: The Appeal and Challenges of Peircean Pragmatism.Annabelle Lever & Clayton Chin - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-22.
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  • The Premises of Condorcet’s Jury Theorem Are Not Simultaneously Justified.Franz Dietrich - 2008 - Episteme 5 (1):56-73.
    Condorcet's famous jury theorem reaches an optimistic conclusion on the correctness of majority decisions, based on two controversial premises about voters: they are competent and vote independently, in a technical sense. I carefully analyse these premises and show that: whether a premise is justi…ed depends on the notion of probability considered; none of the notions renders both premises simultaneously justi…ed. Under the perhaps most interesting notions, the independence assumption should be weakened.
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  • Inclusion and the Epistemic Benefits of Deliberation.John B. Min - 2016 - Contemporary Pragmatism 13 (1):48-69.
    Contrary to the popular belief, I argue that a more inclusive polity does not necessarily conflict with the goal of improving the epistemic capacities of deliberation. My argument examines one property of democracy that is usually thought of in non-epistemic terms, inclusion. Inclusion is not only valuable for moral reasons, but it also has epistemic virtues. I consider two epistemic benefits of inclusive deliberation: inclusive deliberation helps to create a more complete picture of the world that everyone dwells together; and (...)
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  • Is the Public Incompetent? Compared to Whom? About What?Gerald Gaus - 2008 - Critical Review 20 (3):291-311.
    From Mill to, most recently, Bryan Caplan, political and economic elites have been seen as the solution to the public’s ignorance and incompetence. In order to show that elites are actually more competent than the public, however, we would have to find out what type of knowledge is necessary to enact good public policy. The empirical evidence shows that economic experts have a slight advantage over the general public in knowledge of how to achieve policy goals. But, contrary to Caplan, (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Special Majority Voting: Why the Proportion is Special Only in Special Conditions.Christian List - unknown
    I am grateful to Geoffrey Brennan, Campbell Brown, Franz Dietrich, Christian Elsholtz, Robert Goodin, Frank Jackson and David Soskice for very helpful comments and suggestions; and to the participants of a Social and Political Theory seminar at the ANU in February 2003 and the participants of a conference panel of the Australasian Association of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide in July 2003 for comments and discussion.
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  • A Model of Jury Decisions Where All Jurors Have the Same Evidence.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2004 - Synthese 142 (2):175 - 202.
    Under the independence and competence assumptions of Condorcet’s classical jury model, the probability of a correct majority decision converges to certainty as the jury size increases, a seemingly unrealistic result. Using Bayesian networks, we argue that the model’s independence assumption requires that the state of the world (guilty or not guilty) is the latest common cause of all jurors’ votes. But often – arguably in all courtroom cases and in many expert panels – the latest such common cause is a (...)
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  • Can Real Social Epistemic Networks Deliver the Wisdom of Crowds?Emily Sullivan, Max Sondag, Ignaz Rutter, Wouter Meulemans, Scott Cunningham, Bettina Speckmann & Mark Alfano - forthcoming - In Tania Lombrozo, Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In this paper, we explain and showcase the promising methodology of testimonial network analysis and visualization for experimental epistemology, arguing that it can be used to gain insights and answer philosophical questions in social epistemology. Our use case is the epistemic community that discusses vaccine safety primarily in English on Twitter. In two studies, we show, using both statistical analysis and exploratory data visualization, that there is almost no neutral or ambivalent discussion of vaccine safety on Twitter. Roughly half the (...)
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  • Independence and Interdependence: Lessons From the Hive.Christian List & Adrian Vermeule - 2014 - Rationality and Society 26 (2):170-207.
    There is a substantial class of collective decision problems whose successful solution requires interdependence among decision makers at the agenda-setting stage and independence at the stage of choice. We define this class of problems and describe and apply a search-and-decision mechanism theoretically modeled in the context of honeybees and identified in earlier empirical work in biology. The honeybees’ mechanism has useful implications for mechanism design in human institutions, including courts, legislatures, executive appointments, research and development in firms, and basic research (...)
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  • Plural Voting for the Twenty-First Century.Thomas Mulligan - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):286-306.
    Recent political developments cast doubt on the wisdom of democratic decision-making. Brexit, the Colombian people's (initial) rejection of peace with the FARC, and the election of Donald Trump suggest that the time is right to explore alternatives to democracy. In this essay, I describe and defend the epistocratic system of government which is, given current theoretical and empirical knowledge, most likely to produce optimal political outcomes—or at least better outcomes than democracy produces. To wit, we should expand the suffrage as (...)
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  • Responsible Innovation in Social Epistemic Systems: The P300 Memory Detection Test and the Legal Trial.John Danaher - forthcoming - In Van den Hoven (ed.), Responsible Innovation Volume II: Concepts, Approaches, Applications. Springer.
    Memory Detection Tests (MDTs) are a general class of psychophysiological tests that can be used to determine whether someone remembers a particular fact or datum. The P300 MDT is a type of MDT that relies on a presumed correlation between the presence of a detectable neural signal (the P300 “brainwave”) in a test subject, and the recognition of those facts in the subject’s mind. As such, the P300 MDT belongs to a class of brain-based forensic technologies which have proved popular (...)
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  • Bayesian Epistemology.Erik J. Olsson - 2018 - In Sven Ove Hansson & Vincent Hendricks (eds.), Introduction to Formal Philosophy. Springer. pp. 431-442.
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  • Reasons, Coherence, and Group Rationality.Brian Hedden - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):581-604.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • On the Significance of the Absolute Margin.Christian List - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (3):521-544.
    Consider the hypothesis H that a defendant is guilty, and the evidence E that a majority of h out of n independent jurors have voted for H and a minority of k:=n-h against H. How likely is the majority verdict to be correct? By a formula of Condorcet, the probability that H is true given E depends only on each juror's competence and on the absolute margin between the majority and the minority h-k, but neither on the number n, nor (...)
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  • Logics for Modelling Collective Attitudes.Daniele Porello - 2018 - Fundamenta Infromaticae 158 (1-3):239-27.
    We introduce a number of logics to reason about collective propositional attitudes that are defined by means of the majority rule. It is well known that majoritarian aggregation is subject to irrationality, as the results in social choice theory and judgment aggregation show. The proposed logics for modelling collective attitudes are based on a substructural propositional logic that allows for circumventing inconsistent outcomes. Individual and collective propositional attitudes, such as beliefs, desires, obligations, are then modelled by means of minimal modalities (...)
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  • A Game-Theoretic Approach to Peer Disagreement.Remco Heesen & Pieter van der Kolk - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1345-1368.
    In this paper we propose and analyze a game-theoretic model of the epistemology of peer disagreement. In this model, the peers' rationality is evaluated in terms of their probability of ending the disagreement with a true belief. We find that different strategies---in particular, one based on the Steadfast View and one based on the Conciliatory View---are rational depending on the truth-sensitivity of the individuals involved in the disagreement. Interestingly, the Steadfast and the Conciliatory Views can even be rational simultaneously in (...)
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  • Epistemic Democracy and the Social Character of Knowledge.Michael Fuerstein - 2008 - Episteme 5 (1):pp. 74-93.
    How can democratic governments be relied upon to achieve adequate political knowledge when they turn over their authority to those of no epistemic distinction whatsoever? This deep and longstanding concern is one that any proponent of epistemic conceptions of democracy must take seriously. While Condorcetian responses have recently attracted substantial interest, they are largely undermined by a fundamental neglect of agenda-setting. I argue that the apparent intractability of the problem of epistemic adequacy in democracy stems in large part from a (...)
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  • Deliberative Democracy Defended: A Response To Posner’s Political Realism.Robert B. Talisse - 2005 - Res Publica 11 (2):185-199.
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  • Autorité démocratique et contestation. L’apport d’une approche épistémique.Alice Le Goff & Christian Nadeau - 2013 - Philosophiques 40 (2):255.
    Alice Le Goff ,Christian Nadeau | : Ce texte constitue une introduction au dossier. Il introduit les différentes contributions en mettant en relief leurs principales orientations. Ce faisant, il propose donc une cartographie conceptuelle, forcément partielle, des enjeux associés à la notion de démocratie épistémique et des enjeux du croisement de cette notion avec celle de démocratie de contestation. En un premier temps, nous revenons sur l’apport du procéduralisme épistémique et sur les questions qu’il soulève. Ensuite, nous revenons sur le (...)
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  • Disagreement and Epistemic Arguments for Democracy.Sean Ingham - 2013 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 12 (2):136-155.
    Recent accounts of epistemic democracy aim to show that in some qualified sense, democratic institutions have a tendency to produce reasonable outcomes. Epistemic democrats aim to offer such accounts without presupposing any narrow, controversial view of what the outcomes of democratic procedures should be, much as a good justification of a particular scientific research design does not presuppose the hypothesis that the research aims to test. The article considers whether this aim is achievable. It asks, in particular, whether accounts of (...)
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  • Epistemic Approaches to Deliberative Democracy.John B. Min & James K. Wong - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (6):e12497.
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  • The Epistemology of Democracy.Elizabeth Anderson - 2006 - Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology 3 (1):8-22.
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  • Disaster and Debate.Alexandra Couto & Guy Kahane - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (5):516-544.
    Faced with a national tragedy, citizens respond in different ways. Some will initiate debate about the possible connections between this tragedy and broader moral and political issues. But others often complain that this is too early, that it is inappropriate to debate such larger issues while ‘the bodies are still warm’. This paper critically examines the grounds for such a complaint. We consider different interpretations of the complaint—cynical, epistemic and ethical—and argue that it can be resisted on all of these (...)
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  • How to Condorcet a Goldman.Michele Palmira - 2015 - Episteme 12 (3):413-425.
    In his 2010 paper “Philosophical Naturalism and Intuitional Methodology”, Alvin I. Goldman invokes the Condorcet Jury Theorem in order to defend the reliability of intuitions. The present note argues that the original conditions of the theorem are all unrealistic when analysed in connection to the case of intuitions. Alternative conditions are discussed.
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