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Reading: J. S. Mill' s plural voting system and the epistemic defence of democracy

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J. S. Mill' s plural voting system and the epistemic defence of democracy

Author:

Malvina Ongaro

London School of Economics and Political Science, GB
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Abstract

In this paper I explore the possibility of making a case for plural voting. I start with observing a tension between democratic participation and the epistemic quality of results in collective decisions of a technical nature. The search for epistemic quality may render plural voting appealing, but I argue that this case fails. First, I reconstruct Mill's argument for plural voting, and I show that it rests on the same groun ds on which the epistemic defence of democracy is based. Second, I try to show that, if one were to adopt an epistemic perspective, then plural voting should not only be acceptable, but even advocated for. However, I suggest that such an epistemic perspect ive cannot be used to justify democracy whenever there is an external and independently legitimised epistemic authority. In these cases, either democracy is disposed of, or its legitimacy must be justified on non epistemic grounds. I conclude exploring a p ossible non epistemic argument, and contending that such an argument would be incompatible with plural voting.
How to Cite: Ongaro, M., 2019. J. S. Mill' s plural voting system and the epistemic defence of democracy. Rerum Causae, 10(1), pp.7–16.
Published on 11 Sep 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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