•  1497
    Rawls' Idea of Public Reason and Democratic Legitimacy
    Politics and Ethics Review 3 (1): 129-143. 2007.
    Critics and defenders of Rawls' idea of public reason have tended to neglect the relationship between this idea and his conception of democratic legitimacy. I shall argue that Rawls' idea of public reason can be interpreted in two different ways, and that the two interpretations support two different conceptions of legitimacy. What I call the substantive interpretation of Rawls' idea of public reason demands that it applies not just to the process of democratic decision-making, but that it exten…Read more
  •  1170
    Democratic legitimacy and proceduralist social epistemology
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (3): 329-353. 2007.
    A conception of legitimacy is at the core of normative theories of democracy. Many different conceptions of legitimacy have been put forward, either explicitly or implicitly. In this article, I shall first provide a taxonomy of conceptions of legitimacy that can be identified in contemporary democratic theory. The taxonomy covers both aggregative and deliberative democracy. I then argue for a conception of democratic legitimacy that takes the epistemic dimension of public deliberation seriously.…Read more
  •  993
    Choice, consent, and the legitimacy of market transactions
    Economics and Philosophy 20 (1): 1-18. 2004.
    According to an often repeated definition, economics is the science of individual choices and their consequences. The emphasis on choice is often used – implicitly or explicitly – to mark a contrast between markets and the state: While the price mechanism in well-functioning markets preserves freedom of choice and still efficiently coordinates individual actions, the state has to rely to some degree on coercion to coordinate individual actions. Since coercion should not be used arbitrarily, coor…Read more
  •  861
    Pure Epistemic Proceduralism
    Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology 5 (1): 33-55. 2008.
    In this paper I defend a pure proceduralist conception of legitimacy that applies to epistemic democracy. This conception, which I call pure epistemic proceduralism, does not depend on procedure-independent standards for good outcomes and relies on a proceduralist epistemology. It identifies a democratic decision as legitimate if it is the outcome of a process that satisfies certain conditions of political and epistemic fairness. My argument starts with a rejection of instrumentalism–the view th…Read more
  •  818
    Epistemic Foundations of Political Liberalism
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (5): 598-620. 2013.
    At the core of political liberalism is the claim that political institutions must be publicly justified or justifiable to be legitimate. What explains the significance of public justification? The main argument that defenders of political liberalism present is an argument from disagreement: the irreducible pluralism that is characteristic of democratic societies requires a mode of justification that lies in between a narrowly political solution based on actual acceptance and a traditional moral …Read more
  •  682
    The procedural epistemic value of deliberation
    Synthese 190 (7): 1253-1266. 2013.
    Collective deliberation is fuelled by disagreements and its epistemic value depends, inter alia, on how the participants respond to each other in disagreements. I use this accountability thesis to argue that deliberation may be valued not just instrumentally but also for its procedural features. The instrumental epistemic value of deliberation depends on whether it leads to more or less accurate beliefs among the participants. The procedural epistemic value of deliberation hinges on the relation…Read more
  •  648
    The Epistemic Circumstances of Democracy
    In Miranda Fricker Michael Brady (ed.), The Epistemic Life of Groups, . 2016.
    Does political decision-making require experts or can a democracy be trusted to make correct decisions? This question has a long-standing tradition in political philosophy, going back at least to Plato’s Republic. Critics of democracy tend to argue that democracy cannot be trusted in this way while advocates tend to argue that it can. Both camps agree that it is the epistemic quality of the outcomes of political decision-making processes that underpins the legitimacy of political institutions. I…Read more
  •  291
    Political legitimacy
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2010.
    Political legitimacy is a virtue of political institutions and of the decisions—about laws, policies, and candidates for political office—made within them. This entry will survey the main answers that have been given to the following questions. First, how should legitimacy be defined? Is it primarily a descriptive or a normative concept? If legitimacy is understood normatively, what does it entail? Some associate legitimacy with the justification of coercive power and with the creation of politi…Read more
  •  185
    Democratic Legitimacy
    Routledge. 2008.
    This book offers a systematic treatment of the requirements of democratic legitimacy. It argues that democratic procedures are essential for political legitimacy because of the need to respect value pluralism and because of the learning process that democratic decision-making enables. It proposes a framework for distinguishing among the different ways in which the requirements of democratic legitimacy have been interpreted. Peter then uses this framework to identify and defend what appears as th…Read more
  •  172
    The human right to political participation
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 7 (2): 1-16. 2013.
    In recent developments in political and legal philosophy, there is a tendency to endorse minimalist lists of human rights which do not include a right to political participation. Against such tendencies, I shall argue that the right to political participation, understood as distinct from a right to democracy, should have a place even on minimalist lists. In addition, I shall defend the need to extend the right to political participation to include participation not just in national, but also in …Read more
  •  127
    Rawlsian Justice
    In Paul Anand, Prastanta Pattanaik & Clemens Puppe (eds.), Handbook of Rational and Social Choice, Oxford University Press. pp. 433--456. 2009.
    Rawls’ theory of justice builds on the social contract tradition to offer an alternative to utilitarianism. Rawls singles out justice – not maximum welfare or efficiency – as “the first virtue of social institutions”. Economists were quick to realize the relevance of Rawls’ theory of justice for economics. Early contributions in welfare economics and social choice theory typically attempted to incorporate Rawls’ ideas into a welfarist framework. Current research in normative economics comes clos…Read more
  •  116
    III—Normative Facts and Reasons
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 119 (1): 53-75. 2019.
    The main aim of this paper is to identify a type of fact-given warrant for action that is distinct from reason-based justification for action and defend the view that there are two types of practical warrant. The idea that there are two types of warrant is familiar in epistemology, but has not received much attention in debates on practical normativity. On the view that I will defend, normative facts, qua facts, give rise to entitlement warrant for action. But they do not, qua facts, give rise t…Read more
  •  90
    Health equity and social justice
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 18 (2). 2001.
    There is consistent and strong empirical evidence for social inequalities in health, as a vast and fast growing literature shows. In recent years, these findings have helped to move health equity high on international research and policy agendas. This paper examines how the empirical identification of social inequalities in health relates to a normative judgment about health inequities and puts forward an approach which embeds the pursuit of health equity within the general pursuit of social jus…Read more
  •  87
    The Political Egalitarian’s Dilemma
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (4): 373-387. 2007.
    Political egalitarianism is at the core of most normative conceptions of democratic legitimacy. It finds its minimal expression in the "one person one vote" formula. In the literature on deliberative democracy, political equality is typically interpreted in a more demanding sense, but different interpretations of what political equality requires can be identified. In this paper I shall argue that the attempt to specify political equality in deliberative democracy is affected by a dilemma. I shal…Read more
  •  74
    Democratic legitimacy without collective rationality
    In Boudewijn Paul de Bruin & Christopher F. Zurn (eds.), New Waves in Political Philosophy, Palgrave-macmillan. 2009.
  •  55
    Symposium on rationality and commitment: Introduction
    Economics and Philosophy 21 (1): 1-3. 2005.
    In his critique of rational choice theory, Amartya Sen claims that committed agents do not (or not exclusively) pursue their own goals. This claim appears to be nonsensical since even strongly heteronomous or altruistic agents cannot pursue other people's goals without making them their own. It seems that self-goal choice is constitutive of any kind of agency. In this paper, Sen's radical claim is defended. It is argued that the objection raised against Sen's claim holds only with respect to ind…Read more
  •  54
    Epistemic Self-Trust and Doxastic Disagreements
    Erkenntnis 84 (6): 1189-1205. 2019.
    The recent literature on the epistemology of disagreement focuses on the rational response question: how are you rationally required to respond to a doxastic disagreement with someone, especially with someone you take to be your epistemic peer? A doxastic disagreement with someone also confronts you with a slightly different question. This question, call it the epistemic trust question, is: how much should you trust our own epistemic faculties relative to the epistemic faculties of others? Answe…Read more
  •  53
    The Good, the Bad, and the Uncertain: Intentional Action under Normative Uncertainty
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (1): 57-70. 2018.
    My focus in this paper is on a type of bad actions, namely actions that appear to be done for reasons that are not good reasons. I take such bad actions to be ubiquitous. But their ubiquity gives rise to a puzzle, especially if we assume that intentional actions are performed for what one believes or takes to be good reasons. The puzzle I aim to solve in this paper is: why do we seem to be getting it wrong so much of the time? I will argue that we can explain the ubiquity of bad action in light …Read more
  •  53
    My aim in this paper is to provide an epistemological argument for why public reasons matter for political legitimacy. A key feature of the public reason conception of legitimacy is that political decisions must be justified to the citizens. Critics of the public reason conception, by contrast, argue that political legitimacy depends on justification simpliciter. Another way to put the point is that the critics of the public reason conception take the justification of political decisions to be b…Read more
  •  40
    Agreement-based Political Justification
    Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 4 (3). 2014.
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  •  38
    Sen's Idea of Justice and the locus of normative reasoning
    Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (2). 2012.
    Journal of Economic Methodology, Volume 19, Issue 2, Page 165-167, June 2012
  •  32
    Justice: Political Not Natural
    Analyse & Kritik 28 (1): 83-88. 2006.
    Ken Binmore casts his naturalist theory of justice in opposition to theories of justice that claim authority on the grounds of some religious or moral doctrine. He thereby overlooks the possibility of a political conception of justice—a theory of justice based on the premise that there is an irreducible pluralism of metaphysical, epistemological, and moral doctrines. In my brief comment I shall argue that the naturalist theory of justice advocated by Binmore should be conceived of as belonging t…Read more
  •  32
    Fabienne Peter on whether difficult political decisions should be made by experts.
  •  26
    Rationality and commitment (edited book)
    Oxford University Press USA. 2007.
    The volume concludes with a specially-written reply by Sen, in which he responds to his critics and provides a rich commentary on the preceding essays.
  •  23
    Rules, Norms, and Commitment
    In Jarvie, Ian & Jesus Zamora-Bonilla (eds.), Handbook of Philosophy of Social Sciences, Sage Publications. pp. 216--232. 2011.
  •  22
  • Health Equity and Social Justice
    In Sudhir Anand, Fabienne Peter & Amartya Sen (eds.), Public Health, Ethics, and Equity, Oxford University Press. 2006.