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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Epistemic democracy and political legitimacy
by Zhang, Sheng, Ph.D., University of Missouri - Columbia, 2015, 136; 10180781
Abstract (Summary)

My dissertation aims to answer two questions: (1) Is democracy epistemically valuable? (2) Is the epistemic value of democracy, if it has any, necessary for justifying its legitimacy? I argue that democracy in certain form can be epistemically valuable. However, I also argue that the epistemic value of democracy is not necessary for justifying its legitimacy. To defend the epistemic value of democracy, I propose a post-deliberation version of Condorcet’s jury theorem. I argue that this version of the jury theorem can avoid the common challenges against the classic version. To reject the necessity of epistemic value for democratic legitimacy, I argue that, given that the epistemic value of democracy is subject to disagreement, it cannot be used to justify legitimacy. In addition, I provide a purely proceduralist argument for democratic legitimacy, which appeals to the egalitarian principle that every citizens ought to be equally respected by the state. This argument, if succeeds, shows that the epistemic value of democracy is not necessary for justifying democratic legitimacy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Vallentyne, Peter
Commitee: Johnson, Robert, Litton, Paul, Weirich, Paul
School: University of Missouri - Columbia
Department: Philosophy
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Philosophy, Political science
Keywords: Epistemic democracy, Jury theorem, Political legitimacy
Publication Number: 10180781
ISBN: 978-1-369-29447-7
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