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Political Testimony

Van Wietmarschen, JG; (2019) Political Testimony. Politics, Philosophy and Economics , 18 (1) pp. 23-45. 10.1177/1470594X18798062. Green open access

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I argue that reliance on political testimony conflicts with two democratic values: the value of mutual justifiability and the value of equality of opportunity for political influence. Reliance on political testimony is characterized by a reliance on the assertions of others directly on a political question the citizen is asked to answer as part of a formal democratic decision procedure. Reliance on expert testimony generally, even in the context of political decision-making, does not similarly conflict with democratic values. As a consequence of the argument, citizens have a pro tanto reason to rely on their own political judgment when determining their vote, and democratic societies have a reason to only ask citizens questions they are able to answer without reliance on political testimony.

Type: Article
Title: Political Testimony
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1470594X18798062
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/1470594X18798062
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Testimony, voting, public reason, political influence, political equality, democracy, moral testimony, democratic deliberation, political epistemology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057100
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