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Power without Knowledge – A Critique of Technocracy - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Power without Knowledge: A Critique of Technocracy

Jeffrey Friedman


Technocrats claim to know how to solve the social and economic problems of complex modern societies. But this would require predicting how people will act once technocrats impose their policy solutions. Power Without Knowledge argues that people’s ideas, w hich govern their deliberate actions, are too heterogeneous for their behavior to be reliably predicted. Thus, a technocracy of social-scientific experts cannot be expected to accomplish its objectives. The author also shows that a large part of contemporary mass politics, even populist mass politics, is technocratic, as members of the gener ... More

Keywords: democratic technocracy, epistocracy, ideational determinism, ideational heterogeneity, interpretive charity, interpretivism, political epistemology, technocracy, unintended consequences

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190877170
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190877170.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jeffrey Friedman, author
Visiting Scholar, University of California-Berkeley

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