New Themes in Democratic Theory

PHIL 2100M S01 [CRN: 25391]

The course description will be the following: After a tradition of skepticism about democracy, and then a period mostly in the 20th century of virtually unquestioned approval of it, normative democratic theory recently is showing (collectively) more ambivalence. After an introduction to the period in which “deliberative democracy” was the most influential paradigm, we will look closely at developments beginning with the “epistemic” variant of that approach (Estlund, Landemore), an ensuing reaction on epistemic grounds against democracy (Brennan, Mulligan), and then two new approaches that are influential: the case for (and against) choosing “representatives” by lottery rather than voting (Guerrero, Saunders), and the idea that the model for democratic equality is nothing like majoritarianism or agents who act on behalf of constitutuents but the idea of a social and institutional world in which no class or category of citizens is generally above the others, increasingly called “relational equality” (Pettit, Anderson, Scheffler, Kolodny). This is a graduate seminar, and will be taught at that level. A small number of undergraduates with sufficient preparation may be admitted by consent of the instructor.
Spring 2018
Credit Hours
Maximum Enrollment
Primary Instructor
16:00 - 18:30 Thu - from Jan 24, 2018 to May 18, 2018
Exam Group Code