Epistemic democracy and the social character of knowledge

Episteme 5 (1):pp. 74-93 (2008)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
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 failure to appreciate the social character of political knowledge. A social point of view brings into focus a number of vital factors that bear on our understanding of democratic epistemology and our assessment of its prospects: the essential role of inclusive deliberation, the public's agenda-setting function, institutional provisions for policy feedback, the independence of expert communities, and the knowledge-pooling powers of markets
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2015-06-23
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
On Liberty and Other Essays.Mill, John Stuart (ed.)

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
354 ( #8,458 of 40,630 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
67 ( #7,769 of 40,630 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.