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Democratic ReasonPolitics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many$
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Hélène Landemore

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155654

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155654.001.0001

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Political Cognitivism: A Defense

Political Cognitivism: A Defense

(p.208) Chapter Eight Political Cognitivism: A Defense
Democratic Reason

Hélène Landemore

Princeton University Press

This chapter offers a defense of one of the main and most controversial assumptions on which the epistemic case for democracy relies, namely that there exists a procedure-independent standard of correctness in political matters and that this standard can be approximated by human decision making. It calls this assumption “political cognitivism.” This chapter deals with various forms of political cognitivism and the so-called fact/value dichotomy, showing that political cognitivism is a position that can be embraced from a great number of perspectives and is compatible with a number of metaethical views. It also answers the antiauthoritarian objection that assuming a common good or a general interest requires an authoritarian and dangerous notion of truth.

Keywords:   political cognitivism, fact, value, metaethical views, authoritarian objection, human decision making

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