Ignorance and Irrationality in Politics
A Workshop at the University of Nottingham
A common belief is that democracies require informed voters if they are to function well. But when the price to be adequately informed is too high, it makes sense for voters to guide their beliefs by their desire for comfort, affiliation, and belonging. Does this conflict with the epistemic demands of democracy? If it is true, as some political scientist and psychologists allege, that political belief-formation is primarily driven by social identities and ‘tribal’ allegiances, does this make us irrational? What is required for epistemically responsible belief formation in the domain of politics?
The workshop will explore two issues: the extent and causes of citizen ignorance, and whether (and in what ways) belief formation in politics is epistemically irrational, even if it may reflect instrumental rationality on the part of citizens.
Reader in Philosophy at Birkbeck, London
Director of the Policy Institute, King’s College London
Professor of Law at George Mason University
Supernumerary Fellow in Politics at St. John’s, Oxford
Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Liverpool
Helene Landemore (tbc)
Professor of Political Science, Yale University
Booking link coming soon.
This workshop is generously sponsored by