Disagreement and epistemic arguments for democracy
Recent accounts of epistemic democracy aim to show that in some qualified sense, democratic institutions have a tendency to produce reasonable outcomes. Epistemic democrats aim to offer such accounts without presupposing any narrow, controversial view of what the outcomes of democratic procedures should be, much as a good justification of a particular scientific research design does not presuppose the hypothesis that the research aims to test. The article considers whether this aim is achievable. It asks, in particular, whether accounts of epistemic democracy can be reconciled with the commonly held view that disagreement about which laws and policies should be enacted is a fundamental, permanent feature of democratic politics and imposes constraints on how we justify democratic procedures.