Democratic Epistemology and Democratic Morality : The Appeal and Challenges of Peircean Pragmatism
Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
GB : Frank Cass & Co
432 - 453 p.
Democratic epistemology, Democratic morality, Epistemic justiﬁcation, Pragmatism
Does the wide distribution of political power in democracies, relative to other modes of government, result in better decisions? Specifically, do we have any reason to believe that they are better qualitatively – more reasoned, better supported by the available evidence, more deserving of support – than those which have been made by other means? In order to answer this question we examine the recent effort by Talisse and Misak to show that democracy is epistemically justified. Highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments, we conclude that the differences between an epistemic conception of democracy and an epistemic justification of democracy are fundamental to determining the relative attractions of different arguments for democracy, and their implications for actual forms of government.