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In Our NameThe Ethics of Democracy$
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Eric Beerbohm

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154619

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154619.001.0001

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Philosophers-Citizens

Philosophers-Citizens

Chapter:
(p.82) Chapter 3 Philosophers-Citizens
Source:
In Our Name
Author(s):

Eric Beerbohm

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691154619.003.0004

This chapter challenges an account of citizenship that treats us as political philosophers or perennial deliberators and instead proposes the model of the philosopher-citizen who exhibits a computationally intense life of the mind. It first describes the ideal of the philosopher-citizen before considering how a theory of justice is to be employed by well-intentioned citizens by taking into account the views of John Rawls. It argues that the model of the philosopher-citizens tends to be monistic, collapsing the diversity of moral achievements that citizens can make in a democracy, and that this ideal should be separated from an account of the citizen's decision-making obligations. The chapter also examines the principles for citizens and for representatives in the context of Justice as Fairness and concludes by outlining the essential assumptions of a nonideal democratic theory.

Keywords:   citizenship, justice, citizens, John Rawls, democracy, principles theory, representatives, Justice as Fairness, nonideal democratic theory, philosopher-citizens

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