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Michael Fuerstein
St. Olaf College
  1.  41
    New Prospects for Organizational Democracy? How the Joint Pursuit of Social and Financial Goals Challenges Traditional Organizational Designs.Julie Battilana, Michael Fuerstein & Michael Y. Lee - 2018 - In Subramanian Rangan (ed.), Capitalism Beyond Mutuality?: Perspectives Integrating Philosophy and Social Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 256-288.
    Some interesting exceptions notwithstanding, the traditional logic of economic efficiency has long favored hierarchical forms of organization and disfavored democracy in business. What does the balance of arguments look like, however, when values besides efficient revenue production are brought into the picture? The question is not hypothetical: In recent years, an ever increasing number of corporations have developed and adopted socially responsible behaviors, thereby hybridizing aspects of corporate businesses and social organizations. We argue that the joint pursuit of financial and (...)
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  2.  16
    Epistemic Democracy Without Truth: The Deweyan Approach.Michael Fuerstein - forthcoming - Raisons Politiques.
    In this essay I situate John Dewey’s pragmatist approach to democratic epistemology in relation to contemporary “epistemic democracy.” Like epistemic democrats, Dewey characterizes democracy as a form of social inquiry. But whereas epistemic democrats suggest that democracy aims to “track the truth,” Dewey rejects the notion of “tracking” or “corresponding” to truth in political and other domains. For Dewey, the measure of successful decision-making is not some fixed independent standard of truth or correctness but, instead, our own reflective satisfaction with (...)
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  3.  14
    Democratic Representatives as Epistemic Intermediaries.Michael Fuerstein - forthcoming - Nomos.
    This essay develops a model of democratic representation from the standpoint of epistemic theories of democracy. Such theories justify democracy in terms of its tendency to yield decisions that “track the truth” by integrating asymmetrically dispersed knowledge. From an epistemic point of view, I suggest, democratic representatives are best modeled as epistemic intermediaries who facilitate the vertical integration of knowledge between policy experts and non-experts, and the horizontal integration of knowledge among diverse non-experts. The primary analytical payoff of this model (...)
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  4. Democratic Consensus as an Essential Byproduct.Michael Fuerstein - 2014 - Journal of Political Philosophy 22 (3):282-301.
    In this paper, I try to show that democratic consensus – one of the more prominent ideals in recent political thought – is an essential byproduct of epistemically warranted beliefs about political action and organization, at least in those cases where the issues under dispute are epistemic in nature. An essential byproduct (to borrow Jon Elster’s term) is a goal that can only be intentionally achieved by aiming at some other objective. In my usage, a political issue is epistemic when (...)
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  5. Contesting the Market: An Assessment of Capitalism's Threat to Democracy.Michael Fuerstein - 2015 - In Subramanian Rangan (ed.), Performance and Progress: Essays on Capitalism, Business, and Society. Oxford University Press.
    I argue that capitalism presents a threat to “democratic contestation”: the egalitarian, socially distributed capacity to affect how, why, and whether power is used. Markets are not susceptible to mechanisms of accountability, nor are they bearers of intentions in the way that political power-holders are. This makes them resistant to the kind of rational, intentional oversight that constitutes one of democracy’s social virtues. I identify four social costs associated with this problem: the vulnerability of citizens to arbitrary interference, the insensitivity (...)
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  6. 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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  7. Epistemic Trust and Liberal Justification.Michael Fuerstein - 2013 - Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (2):179-199.
    In this paper I offer a distinctive epistemic rationale for the liberal practice of constant and ostentatious reason-giving in the political context. Epistemic trust is essential to democratic governance because as citizens we can only make informed decisions by relying on the claims of moral, scientific, and practical authorities around us. Yet rational epistemic trust is also uniquely fragile in the political context in light of both the radical inclusiveness of the relevant epistemic community (i.e., everyone who participates in the (...)
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  8.  82
    Democratic Experiments: An Affect-Based Interpretation and Defense.Michael Fuerstein - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (4):793-816.
    I offer an interpretation and defense of John Dewey’s notion of “democratic experiments,” which involve testing moral beliefs through the experience of acting on them on a social scale. Such testing is crucial, I argue, because our social norms and institutions fundamentally shape the relationships through which we develop emotional responses that represent the morally significant concerns of others. Improving those responses therefore depends on deliberate alterations of our social environment. I consider deliberative and activist alternatives and argue that an (...)
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