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Strengthening the Epistemic Case against Epistocracy and for Democracy.

Van Bouwel, Jeroen (2022) Strengthening the Epistemic Case against Epistocracy and for Democracy. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Is epistocracy epistemically superior to democracy? In this paper, I scrutinize some of the arguments for and against the epistemic superiority of epistocracy. Using empirical results from the literature on the epistemic benefits of diversity as well as the epistemic contributions of
citizen science, I strengthen the case against epistocracy and for democracy. Disenfranchising, or otherwise discouraging anyone to participate in political life, on the basis of them not possessing a certain body of (social
scientific) knowledge, is untenable also from an epistemic point of view. Rather than focussing on individual competence, we should pay attention to the social constellation through which we produce knowledge to make sure we decrease epistemic loss (by ensuring diversity and inclusion) and increase epistemic productivity (by fostering a multiplicity of perspectives interacting fruitfully). Achieving those epistemic benefits requires a more democratic approach that differs significantly from epistocracy.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Van Bouwel, JeroenJeroen.VanBouwel@UGent.be0000-0002-7335-0816
Keywords: Epistocracy; epistemic inclusion; citizen science; scientific pluralism
Subjects: General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Dr. Jeroen Van Bouwel
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2023 14:26
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 14:26
Item ID: 21672
Subjects: General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21672

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