Results for 'epistocracy'

26 found
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  1. Is Epistocracy Irrational?Adam F. Gibbons - 2022 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 21 (2).
    Proponents of epistocracy worry that high levels of voter ignorance can harm democracies. To combat such ignorance, they recommend allocating comparatively more political power to more politically knowledgeable citizens. In response, some recent critics of epistocracy contend that epistocratic institutions risk causing even more harm, since much evidence from political psychology indicates that more politically knowledgeable citizens are typically more biased, less open-minded, and more prone to motivated reasoning about political matters than their less knowledgeable counterparts. If so, (...)
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  2. Limited epistocracy and political inclusion.Anne Jeffrey - 2017 - Episteme 15 (4):412-432.
    ABSTRACTIn this paper I defend a form of epistocracy I call limited epistocracy – rule by institutions housing expertise in non-political areas that become politically relevant. This kind of limited epistocracy, I argue, isn't a far-off fiction. With increasing frequency, governments are outsourcing political power to expert institutions to solve urgent, multidimensional problems because they outperform ordinary democratic decision-making. I consider the objection that limited epistocracy, while more effective than its competitors, lacks a fundamental intrinsic value (...)
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  3. On Epistocracy's Epistemic Problem: Reply to Méndez.Adam F. Gibbons - 2022 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11 (8):1-7.
    In a recent paper, María Pía Méndez (2022) offers an epistemic critique of epistocracy according to which the sort of politically well-informed but homogenous groups of citizens that would be empowered under epistocracy would lack reliable access to information about the preferences of less informed citizens. Specifically, they would lack access to such citizens’ preferences regarding the form that policies ought to take—that is, how these policies ought to be implemented. Arguing that this so-called Information Gap Problem militates (...)
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  4. Demographic Objections to Epistocracy: A Generalization.Sean Ingham & David Wiens - 2021 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 49 (4):323-349.
    Several scholars have recently entertained proposals for "epistocracy," a political regime in which decision-making power is concentrated in the hands of a society's most informed and competent citizens. These proposals rest on the claim that we can expect better political outcomes if we exclude incompetent citizens from participating in political decisions because competent voters are more likely to vote "correctly" than incompetent voters. We develop what we call the objection from selection bias to epistocracy: a procedure that selects (...)
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  5. Epistocracy and Public Interests.Finlay Malcolm - 2021 - Res Publica 28 (1):173-192.
    Epistocratic systems of government have received renewed attention, and considerable opposition, in recent political philosophy. Although they vary significantly in form, epistocracies generally reject universal suffrage. But can they maintain the advantages of universal suffrage despite rejecting it? This paper develops an argument for a significant instrumental advantage of universal suffrage: that governments must take into account the interests of all of those enfranchised in their policy decisions or else risk losing power. This is called ‘the Interests Argument’. One problem (...)
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  6. On the Compatibility of Epistocracy and Public Reason.Thomas Mulligan - 2015 - Social Theory and Practice 41 (3):458-476.
    In "epistocratic" forms of government, political power is wielded by those who possess the knowledge relevant to good policymaking. Some democrats--notably, David Estlund--concede that epistocracy might produce better political outcomes than democracy but argue that epistocracy cannot be justified under public reason. These objections to epistocracy are unsound because they violate a viability constraint: they are also fatal to democracy and all other plausible political arrangements. Moreover, there is a problem with the public reason framework itself--a problem (...)
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  7. Stability in Liberal Epistocracies.Corrado Fumagalli - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (1):97-109.
    In this article, I argue that stability is one of the enabling conditions for epistocratic arrangements to function well and justify their claim right to rule. Against this backdrop, I demonstrate that advocates of strategies to allocate exclusive decision-making power to knowledgeable citizens fail to demonstrate that in a context marked by the fact of pluralism, liberal epistocracies will be stable. They could argue that liberal epistocracies will be stable because epistocratic arrangements are better equipped than democratic decision-making bodies to (...)
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  8. Strengthening the Epistemic Case against Epistocracy and for Democracy.Jeroen Van Bouwel - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (1):110-126.
    Is epistocracy epistemically superior to democracy? In this paper, I scrutinize some of the arguments for and against the epistemic superiority of epistocracy. Using empirical results from the literature on the epistemic benefits of diversity as well as the epistemic contributions of citizen science, I strengthen the case against epistocracy and for democracy. Disenfranchising, or otherwise discouraging anyone to participate in political life, on the basis of them not possessing a certain body of (social scientific) knowledge, is (...)
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  9. Why Not Epistocracy?David Estlund - 2003 - In Naomi Reshotko (ed.), Desire, Identity and Existence: Essays in honor of T. M. Penner. Academic Printing and Publishing. pp. 53-69.
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    The Severity of the Information Gap Problem for Epistocracy: On Gibbons’s Reply.María Pía Méndez - 2023 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 12 (10):47–52.
    Adam Gibbons (2022) holds, in response to my recent paper on epistocracy (Méndez 2022), that the severity of what I identify as a very relevant epistemic problem for epistocracy is overstated. What I call the Information Gap Problem refers to the gap of information that an elite electorate of well-informed citizens would experience, with regards to what epistocrats call ‘ill-informed’ lay citizens’ preferences. In that paper, I claimed that a group of highly qualified people could be better at (...)
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  11. Why Not a Philosopher King and Other Objections to Epistocracy.Dragan Kuljanin - 2019 - Phenomenology and Mind 16:80-89.
    In this paper, I will examine epistocracy as a form of limiting the political agency of some citizens (by removing their political rights) and offer an internal critique of it. I will argue that epistocracy runs into a number of logical and epistemic problems in trying to define who should be the members of an epistocratic polity. Furthermore, I will argue that the argument for epistocracy cannot ignore unjust background conditions. I will also suggest that some of (...)
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  12. Standpoints, knowledge, and power: Introducing standpoint epistocracy.Sophie Keeling - forthcoming - Hypatia.
    Should citizens have equal say regarding the running of society? Following the principles of democracy, and most of political philosophy: yes (at least at a fundamental level, thus allowing for representatives and the like). Indeed, comparing the main alternative seemingly supports this intuition. Epistocracy would instead give power just to the most epistemically competent. Yet testing citizens’ political and economic knowledge looks apt to disproportionately disempower marginalised groups, making the position seem like a nonstarter and democracy the clear winner. (...)
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  13. Authority through Service: A Mesoamerican Approach to Political Expertise.Matthias Kramm - forthcoming - Social Theory and Practice.
    In this article, I draw on the Mesoamerican institution of community offices (cargo) to support the view that political authority should be based on both political legitimacy and political expertise. I argue that the Mesoamerican tradition of cargos allows for a notion of political expertise that one acquires by rendering a service to one’s community. This expertise could be made a prerequisite for political representation without being vulnerable to several charges that have been levelled against epistocracy.
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  14. 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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  15. Political Equality and Epistemic Constraints on Voting.Michele Giavazzi - 2024 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 52 (2):147-176.
    As part of recent epistemic challenges to democracy, some have endorsed the implementation of epistemic constraints on voting, institutional mechanisms that bar incompetent voters from participating in public decision-making procedures. This proposal is often considered incompatible with a commitment to political equality. In this paper, I aim to dispute the strength of this latter claim by offering a theoretical justification for epistemic constraints on voting that does not rest on antiegalitarian commitments. Call this the civic accountability justification for epistemic constraints (...)
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  16. 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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  17. Diversity and Democracy: Agent-Based Modeling in Political Philosophy.Bennett Holman, William Berger, Daniel J. Singer, Patrick Grim & Aaron Bramson - 2018 - Historical Social Research 43:259-284.
    Agent-based models have played a prominent role in recent debates about the merits of democracy. In particular, the formal model of Lu Hong and Scott Page and the associated “diversity trumps ability” result has typically been seen to support the epistemic virtues of democracy over epistocracy (i.e., governance by experts). In this paper we first identify the modeling choices embodied in the original formal model and then critique the application of the Hong-Page results to philosophical debates on the relative (...)
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  18. The Power of the Multitude: Answering Epistemic Challenges to Democracy.Samuel Bagg - 2018 - American Political Science Review 4 (112):891-904.
    Recent years have witnessed growing controversy over the “wisdom of the multitude.” As epistemic critics drawing on vast empirical evidence have cast doubt on the political competence of ordinary citizens, epistemic democrats have offered a defense of democracy grounded largely in analogies and formal results. So far, I argue, the critics have been more convincing. Nevertheless, democracy can be defended on instrumental grounds, and this article demonstrates an alternative approach. Instead of implausibly upholding the epistemic reliability of average voters, I (...)
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  19. Must Realists Be Pessimists About Democracy? Responding to Epistemic and Oligarchic Challenges.Gordon Arlen & Enzo Rossi - 2021 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 8 (1):27-49.
    In this paper we show how a realistic normative democratic theory can work within the constraints set by the most pessimistic empirical results about voting behaviour and elite capture of the policy process. After setting out the empirical evidence and discussing some extant responses by political theorists, we argue that the evidence produces a two-pronged challenge for democracy: an epistemic challenge concerning the quality and focus of decision-making and an oligarchic challenge concerning power concentration. To address the challenges we then (...)
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  20. The Epistemic Responsibilities of Citizens in a Democracy.Cameron Boult - 2021 - In Michael Hannon & Jeroen de Ridder (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology. New York: Routledge.
    The chapter develops a taxonomy of views about the epistemic responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. Prominent approaches to epistemic democracy, epistocracy, epistemic libertarianism, and pure proceduralism are examined through the lens of this taxonomy. The primary aim is to explore options for developing an account of the epistemic responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. The chapter also argues that a number of recent attacks on democracy may not adequately register the availability of a minimal approach to the epistemic (...)
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  21. On the Need for Epistemic Enhancement.John Danaher - 2013 - Law, Innovation and Technology 5 (1):85-112.
    Klaming and Vedder (2010) have argued that enhancement technologies that improve the epistemic efficiency of the legal system (“epistemic enhancements”) would benefit the common good. But there are two flaws to Klaming and Vedder’s argument. First, they rely on an under-theorised and under-specified conception of the common good. When theory and specification are supplied, their CGJ for enhancing eyewitness memory and recall becomes significantly less persuasive. And second, although aware of such problems, they fail to give due weight and consideration (...)
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  22. Bad Language Makes Good Politics.Adam F. Gibbons - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Politics abounds with bad language: lying and bullshitting, grandstanding and virtue signaling, code words and dogwhistles, and more. But why is there so much bad language in politics? And what, if anything, can we do about it? In this paper I show how these two questions are connected. Politics is full of bad language because existing social and political institutions are structured in such a way that the production of bad language becomes rational. In principle, by modifying these institutions we (...)
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  23. A Guide to Political Epistemology.Michael Hannon & Elizabeth Edenberg - 2024 - In Jennifer Lackey & Aidan McGlynn (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Social Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    Political epistemology is a newly flourishing area of philosophy, but there is no comprehensive overview to this burgeoning field. This chapter maps out the terrain of political epistemology, highlights some of the key questions and topics of this field, draws connections across seemingly disparate areas of work, and briefly situates this field within its historical and contemporary contexts.
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  24. Skilled Rhetoricians, Experts, Intellectuals and Inventors: Kitcher and Dewey on public knowledge and ignorance.Jón Ólafsson - 2017 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 53 (2):167.
    In the last chapter of The Public and its Problems John Dewey outlines the alleged fallacy of "the democratic creed". According to him the fallacy is described as conflating emancipation with the capacity to rule, i.e. the capacity to make policy decisions. His point is that the power to make decisions does not entail a capacity to make good choices. Capable are those in the know, the experts who are "intellectually qualified". The answer to the fallacy is to propose (...): The rule of experts – as Walter Lippman had come close to arguing. But Dewey tries to refute the argument for epistocracy. He rehearses the old platonic wisdom that the harmonious state... (shrink)
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  25. Schmitt’s democratic dialectic: On the limits of democracy as a value.Larry Alan Busk - 2021 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 47 (6):681-701.
    In this essay, I attempt to measure various prevailing democratic theories against an argument that Carl Schmitt advances in the first chapter of his ‘Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy’. In practice, he claims there, democratic politics is compelled to introduce a distinction between ‘the will of the people’ and the behaviour of the empirical people, thus justifying the bracketing and unlimited suspension of the latter in the name of the former, even to the point of dictatorship. I argue that no contemporary (...)
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  26. Democratic Legitimacy and the Competence Obligation.Finlay Malcolm - 2021 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 8 (1):109-130.
    What obligations are there on voters? This paper argues that voters should make their electoral decision competently, and does so by developing on a recent proposal for democratic legitimacy. It then explores three problems arising from this ‘competency obligation’. First, how should voters be competent? I propose three conditions required for voter competence. Second, how competent should voters be? I argue that the competency required tracks the significance of the consequences of the vote. Third, if the electorate are unlikely to (...)
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