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Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, Volume 2$
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David Sobel, Peter Vallentyne, and Steven Wall

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198759621

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759621.001.0001

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(p.156) 6 Elitism
Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, Volume 2

Richard Arneson

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses political elitism, understood as the claim that those who know the political truths needed for correct (e.g. just) public policy choice, and they alone, are entitled to a share of political rule. The chapter also discusses a weaker form that allows that all have a right to a share of political rule, but those with greater relevant knowledge have a right to a greater share. It argues against several purported justifications for elitism and that elitism might, under the right conditions, be justified by appeal to a (perhaps limited) moral duty to cooperate with others to promote the fulfillment of justice.

Keywords:   elitism, expertise, political knowledge, political power, democracy, social justice

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