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The Ethics of Voting$
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Jason Brennan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154442

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154442.001.0001

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Civic Virtue without Politics

Civic Virtue without Politics

(p.43) Chapter Two Civic Virtue without Politics
The Ethics of Voting

Jason Brennan

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses a new theory of civic virtue and of paying debts to society, showing that citizens can exercise civic virtue and pay debts to society not only without voting but often without engaging in politics at all. It defends the extrapolitical conception of civic virtue. According to the extrapolitical conception, political participation is not necessary for the exercise of civic virtue. Indeed, citizens can have exceptional civic virtue despite disengagement with politics. Most ways to exercise civic virtue in contemporary liberal democracies do not involve politics, or even activities on the periphery of politics, such as community-based volunteering or military service.

Keywords:   civic virtue, voting, politics, extrapolitical conception, political participation, contemporary liberal democracies, community volunteering, military service

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