What’s so Good about a Wise and Knowledgeable Public?

Ahlstrom-Vij, K. (2012). What’s so Good about a Wise and Knowledgeable Public? Acta Analytica Volume 27, Number 2 (2012), 199-216, DOI: 10.1007/s12136-012-0157-1

Abstract: Philosophers have been concerned for some time with the epistemic caliber of the general public, qua the body that is, ultimately, tasked with political decision-making in democratic societies. Unfortunately, the empirical data paint a pretty dismal picture here, indicating that the public tends to be largely ignorant on the issues relevant to governance. To make matters worse, empirical research on how ignorance tends to breed overconfidence suggests that the public will not only lack knowledge on the relevant issues, but also wisdom, in the Socratic sense of an awareness of your ignorance. While increasing the knowledge and wisdom of the public might be thought an obvious remedy, there is, as far as sound political decision-making and action are concerned, nothing particularly valuable about knowledge or wisdom per se. In fact, it might just be that what the public needs is nothing but the most basic epistemic good: true belief.

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(Something interesting I found)Posted:Mar 01 2012, 12:00 AM by brendah
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