Philosophy and Democracy

1681 Words7 Pages
1. RONALD DWORKIN: According to Dworkin, democracy is an egalitarian perception to political equality (). Dworkin argues for a substantive approach to democratic procedure; in effort to secure an equal distribution of political power to citizens as a whole (9; 117). Dworkin’s consequential approach classifies two types of political decisions: “choice-sensitive” and “choice-insensitive” issues (132). Dworkin defines choice-sensitive issues in terms of justice that: “depends essentially on character and distribution of preferences within the political community” (132). For example, Dworkin asserts: “The decision whether to use available public funds to build a new sports center or a new road system is typically choice-sensitive” (132).…show more content…
According to Estlund, epistemic proceduralism embodies a ‘just right’ conception of democracy; one that avoids epistemic polarization of democratic procedure, either too strong or non-existent (74; 75). Estlund’s defense of his democratic normative framework highlights the flawed, undemocratic nature structuring fairness and deliberation (70). Estlund’s account for democratic legitimacy avoids fairness based approaches that disregard the epistemic value of democratic deliberation; as well as the democratic ideal that legitimate decisions are only those that are correct under the highly restrictive correctness theory (75). Estlund excludes non-epistemic values in his justification of democracy; in addition, Estlund also avoids the ideals of epistocracy (71). Estlund’s epistemic proceduralism holds that a law's legitimacy is derived partly from the epistemic value of the procedure that produced said laws (70-71). Thus laws can be legitimate-independent of correctness, while still conforming to an epistemic value of democratic deliberation (70-71). Why obey bad laws? According to Estlund, democracy is dependent on citizen obedience to legitimate procedural outcomes-independent of correctness (70:75). Citizens are to obey legitimate democratic decisions, even when these outcomes are believed to be mistaken (77). Estlund argues that the correctness of democratic decisions lies within his theory of epistemic
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