Democracy and Fake Agreement

It is well known that there are many forms of democracy. It seems likely that none of them is perfect. But when voters are uncertain about the consequences of what they are voting for, democracy is even more puzzling.

One idea that seems plausible is that if every member of society prefers X to Y, then society should be seen as preferring X to Y. But when uncertainty is involved, even that is a bad idea. This post explains why, with a practical illustration involving Brexit and Trump.

Future Projects

My early work in normative ethics took a broadly rule utilitarian or contractualist approach. I am now skeptical about rule-based approaches. But I see the topic as one aspect of a vast range of problems at the intersection of ethics and social epistemology that I wish to explore further.

One of the main difficulties is that different people have different beliefs, information, and evidence, along with perhaps faulty beliefs about each others beliefs, information, and evidence. Rule utilitarians seem to solve this challenging problem by pretending it isn’t one; what should the rest of us think?