Advertisement

The Authority Tenet

Chapter
  • 80 Downloads
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Ethics and Public Policy book series (PASEPP)

Abstract

This chapter discusses whether the authority tenet should be endorsed as well, i.e. whether experts should rule. First, I discuss epistocracy, the rule of those who know, and claim that, though this decision-making procedure might have considerable epistemic value, it cannot meet the liberal criterion of legitimacy. Namely, we cannot expect all reasonable citizens to see the same group of people as experts in politics, and therefore the rule of any group would be rejectable to at least some reasonable citizens. In the second part of the chapter I discuss Mill’s scholocracy, a decision-making procedure in which everyone has at least one vote, but those better educated have more than one. Though it presents a more sophisticated version of epistocracy, I demonstrate that scholocracy can be rejected as well, since it is not unreasonable to think that some epistemically damaging features (biases) might be present in the group that is given greater political authority. I end the chapter by claiming that the authority tenet should be rejected.

Keywords

Epistocracy Scholocracy Expertism Expert–boss fallacy Invidious comparisons 

References

  1. Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958.Google Scholar
  2. Arendt, Hannah. On Revolution. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1963.Google Scholar
  3. Arneson, Richard J. “Liberal Neutrality on the Good: An Autopsy.” In Perfectionism and Neutrality: Essays in Liberal Theory, edited by Steven Wall and George Klosko, 191–208. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003a.Google Scholar
  4. Arneson, Richard J. “Defending the Purely Instrumental Account of Democratic Legitimacy.” Journal of Political Philosophy 11, no. 1 (2003b): 122–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baccarini, Elvio, and Viktor Ivanković. “Mill’s Case for Plural Voting and the Need for Balanced Public Decisions.” Prolegomena 14, no. 2 (2015): 137–156.Google Scholar
  6. Berlin, Isaiah. Four Essays on Liberty. London: Oxford University Press, 1969.Google Scholar
  7. Brilhante, Amaral A. and Francisco J. Rocha. “Democracy and Plural Voting in John Stuart Mill’s Political Thought.” Ethic@ 12, no. 1 (2014): 53–65.Google Scholar
  8. Christiano, Thomas. The Rule of the Many: Fundamental Issues in Democratic Theory. Boulder: Westview Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  9. Christiano, Thomas. “The Authority of Democracy.” Journal of Political Philosophy 11, no. 2 (2004): 266–290.Google Scholar
  10. Christiano, Thomas. The Constitution of Equality. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Christiano, Thomas. “Rational Deliberation Among Experts and Citizens.” In Deliberative Systems: Deliberative Democracy at the Large Scale, edited by J. Parkinson, 27–51. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.Google Scholar
  12. Dewey, John. Democracy and Education. Radford: Wilder Publications, 2009.Google Scholar
  13. Dreben, Burton. “On Rawls and political liberalism.” In The Cambridge Companion to Rawls, edited by Samuel Freeman, 316–346. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.Google Scholar
  14. Estlund, David. “Why Not Epistocracy?” In Desire, Identity and Existence: Essays in Honour of T.M. Penner, edited by Naomi Reshotko, 53–69. Kelowna: Academic Printing and Publishing, 2003.Google Scholar
  15. Estlund, David. Democratic Authority. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008.Google Scholar
  16. Estlund, David. “Epistemic Proceduralism and Democratic Authority.” In Does Truth Matter? Democracy and Public Space, edited by Ronald Tinnevelt and Raf Geenens, 15–27. Dordrecht: Springer, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Farkas, George. “How Educational Inequality Develops.” National Poverty Center. Working Paper Series (2006): 1–50.Google Scholar
  18. Gaus, Gerald. Justificatory Liberalism: An Essay on Epistemology and Political Theory. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  19. Griffin, Christopher G. “Democracy as a Non-Instrumentally Just Procedure.” Journal of Political Philosophy 11, no. 1 (2003): 111–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Holst, Cathrine. “What is Epistocracy? Dimensions of Knowledge-Based Rule.” In Sacred Science?, edited by Simen A. Øyen, Tone Lund-Olsen and Nora S. Vaage, 41–54. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2012.Google Scholar
  21. Kitcher, Philip. Science in a Democratic Society. New York: Prometheus Books, 2011.Google Scholar
  22. Lippert-Rasmussen, Kasper. “Estlund on Epistocracy: A Critique.” Res Publica 18, no. 3 (2012): 241–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. List, Christian. “Group Knowledge and Group Rationality: A Judgment Aggregation Perspective.” Episteme 2, no. 1 (2005): 25–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lister, Andrew. “The Challenge of Moderate Epistocracy.” In IPSA World Congress of Political Science—New Directions in Democratic Theory, Montreal (2014): 1–35.Google Scholar
  25. Mill, John S. Considerations on Representative Government. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1977a.Google Scholar
  26. Mill, John S. Thoughts on Parliamentary Reform. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1977b.Google Scholar
  27. Mill, John S. Essays on Philosophy and the Classics. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  28. Mill, John S. On Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.Google Scholar
  29. Nichols, Mary P. “The Republic’s Two Alternatives: Philosopher Kings and Socrates.” Political Theory 12, no. 2 (1984): 252–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Peter, Fabienne. Democratic Legitimacy. London: Routledge, 2011.Google Scholar
  31. Peter, Fabienne. “The Procedural Epistemic Value of Deliberation.” Synthese 190, no. 7 (2012): 1253–1266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Peter, Fabienne. “Political Legitimacy.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), edited by Edward N. Zalta. Stanford: Stanford University, 2014.Google Scholar
  33. Pettit, Philip. Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pettit, Philip. On the People’s Terms: A Republican Theory and Model of Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Plato. The Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.Google Scholar
  36. Popper, Karl. The Open Society and Its Enemies. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971.Google Scholar
  37. Quong, Jonathan. Liberalism Without Perfection. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.Google Scholar
  38. Rawls, John. Political Liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993.Google Scholar
  39. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. The Social Contract. London: Penguin Books, 1968.Google Scholar
  40. Sandel, Michael J. Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010.Google Scholar
  41. Sandel, Michael J. Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? Zagreb: Algoritam, 2013.Google Scholar
  42. Wolff, Jonathan. An Introduction to Political Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.Google Scholar
  43. Zelić, Nebojša. “The Idea of Public Reason.” Unpublished PhD Thesis. Rijeka: University of Rijeka, 2012.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of RijekaRijekaCroatia

Personalised recommendations