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An Epistemic Theory of Democracy

Goodin, Robert; Spiekermann, Kai

Description

One attractive feature of democracy is its ability to track the truth by information aggregation. The formal support for this claim goes back to Condorcet’s famous jury theorem. However, the theorem has often been dismissed as a mathematical curiosity because the assumptions on which the theorem is based are demanding. Such quick dismissals tend to misunderstand the original theorem. They also fail to appreciate how Condorcet’s assumptions can be weakened to obtain jury theorems that are...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorGoodin, Robert
dc.contributor.authorSpiekermann, Kai
dc.date.accessioned2019-09-27T05:08:37Z
dc.date.available2019-09-27T05:08:37Z
dc.identifier.isbn9780198823452
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/172034
dc.description.abstractOne attractive feature of democracy is its ability to track the truth by information aggregation. The formal support for this claim goes back to Condorcet’s famous jury theorem. However, the theorem has often been dismissed as a mathematical curiosity because the assumptions on which the theorem is based are demanding. Such quick dismissals tend to misunderstand the original theorem. They also fail to appreciate how Condorcet’s assumptions can be weakened to obtain jury theorems that are readily applicable in the real world. The first part of the book explains the original theorem and its various extensions and introduces results to deal with the challenge of voter dependence. Part II considers opportunities to make democracies perform better in epistemic terms by improving voter competence and diversity, by dividing epistemic labour, and by preceding voting with deliberation. In the third part, political practices are looked at through an epistemic lens, focusing on the influence of tradition, following opinion leaders or cues, and on settings in which the electorate falls into diverging factions. Part IV analyses the implications for the structures of government. While arguing against the case for epistocracy, the use of deliberation and expert advice in representative democracy can lead to improved truth-tracking, provided epistemic bottlenecks are avoided. The final part summarizes the results and explores how epistemic democracy might be undermined, using as case studies the Trump and Brexit campaigns.
dc.format.extent425
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherOxford University Press
dc.relation.isversionof1 Edition
dc.rights© 2018 Robert E. Goodin and Kai Spiekermann
dc.subjectCondorcet Jury Theorem
dc.subjecttruth-tracking
dc.subjectinformation aggregation
dc.subjectvoter competence
dc.subjectdiversity
dc.subjectdeliberation
dc.subjectopinion leaders
dc.subjectrepresentative democracy
dc.subjectBrexit
dc.subjectTrump
dc.titleAn Epistemic Theory of Democracy
dc.typeBook
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
dc.date.issued2018
local.identifier.absfor220319 - Social Philosophy
local.identifier.ariespublicationu1007931xPUB57
local.type.statusMetadata only
local.contributor.affiliationGoodin, Robert, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationSpiekermann, Kai, London School of Economics
local.identifier.doi10.1093/oso/9780198823452.001.0001
local.identifier.absseo970122 - Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
dc.date.updated2019-04-21T08:23:30Z
local.bibliographicCitation.placeofpublicationUnited Kingdom
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-85051503977
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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