Thursday, September 29, 2011

Political Studies Review Paper on Virtue Epistemology and Democracy

My paper entitled "Virtue Epistemology and the ‘Epistemic Fitness’ of Democracy" has been accepted for publication in Political Studies Review. Below as the abstract of the paper:

In this paper I explore three distinct advantages of linking virtue epistemology to an epistemic defence of democracy. Firstly, because intellectual agents and communities are the primary focus of epistemic evaluation, virtue epistemology offers political theorists the opportunity to develop an epistemic defence of democracy that takes ‘realism’ seriously (e.g. the cognitive limitations and biases of humans). Secondly, because virtue epistemology conceives of epistemology as a normative discipline, it builds normative criteria into the exercise of assessing the ‘epistemic fitness’ of a political arrangement (e.g. democracy vs epistocracy). Thirdly, by assessing the epistemic powers of democracy from a virtue-epistemological perspective, a more robust (Deweyan) conception of democracy needs to be employed and assessed than the ‘minimalist’ conception employed by the Condorcet Jury Theorem.