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The Ethics of Voting

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  53 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Nothing is more integral to democracy than voting. Most people believe that every citizen has the civic duty or moral obligation to vote, that any sincere vote is morally acceptable, and that buying, selling, or trading votes is inherently wrong. In this provocative book, Jason Brennan challenges our fundamental assumptions about voting, revealing why it is not a duty for ...more
ebook, 223 pages
Published April 4th 2011 by Princeton University Press (first published March 14th 2011)
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زهیر پرست
رای دادن یا ندادن ما پیامدهایی دارد. با پیروزی کاندیداهای بخصوصی وضعیت آزادیهای مدنی، عدالت اقتصادی و دیگر شرایط شهروندان جامعه تحت تاثیر قرار خواهد گرفت. بنابراین به نظر میرسد ما در قبال رایی که میدهیم مسئولیت اخلاقی داریم. از این رو بهتر است به اخلاق رای دادن بیشتر فکر کنیم.

جیسون برنان در کتاب خود «اخلاق رای دادن» در پی بررسی این مسئله است. او ابتدا نظریهای که آن را «نظریه عامیانه اخلاق رای دادن» مینامد مطرح میکند سپس با نقد آن و مطرح کردن الگوی خود سعی میکند اخلاق رای دادن را به خوانندگان معر
...more
Maria
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sitting here at my dining room table, two days before an historic presidential election, I find myself completely emotionally exhausted by the long, contentious path I’ve traveled with my fellow citizens on our way to choosing the next Commander in Chief. It seems that voting has never been more important, and yet I’ve never encountered so many good people who plan to vote stupidly. Which made me wonder, “What does it mean to vote poorly?” And that’s how I came to Jason Brennan’s book, The Ethic ...more
Andrew MacKie-Mason
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I have several substantive disagreements with this book (which is not necessarily a bad thing for a philosophy book).

First, Brennan relies on the claim that "On any reasonable epistemological view, there will be such a thing as unjustified beliefs about political matters." (p. 70) This strikes me as a dramatically wrong epistemological position (although one that assuredly has a long philosophical tradition). Justification is not binary in the way that Brennan suggests and relies on. Instead, ju
...more
Marshall
This was a pretty interesting ethical philosophy treatment of voting behaviors. It challenges what the author calls the "folk theory of voting ethics":

1. Each citizen has a civic duty to vote. In extenuating circumstances, one can be excused from voting, but otherwise, one should vote.
2. While it is true that there can be better or worse candidates, in general any good faith vote is morally acceptable. At the very least, it is better to vote than to abstain.
3. It is inherently wrong to buy or se
...more
Sasha
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Next to Bryan Caplan's "The Myth of the Rational Voter", this is my favorite book on voting. "The Ethics of Voting" by Jason Brennan challenges many of the fundamental arguments that are made by democratic fundamentalists about voting while using a great body of research and data to back up Brennan's claims. The book begins by making the case that people do not have a duty to vote; instead, they have a duty to be well-informed when they do vote. When an individual is ill-informed and votes, he o ...more
Nick Geiser
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book defends two theses: 1) there's no moral duty to vote, and if you do vote, you should vote well and 2) there is no moral prohibition against buying, trading, or selling votes, except when buying, selling, or trading would violate 1). I am perhaps a biased reviewer here because I think these two theses are obviously correct and the rest is just details. Basically, this is a contemporary philosophical development of J.S. Mill's quip that the franchise is an exercise of power over others, ...more
Tom
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some relevant points but nothing groundbreaking and the book spends forever indulgently beefing up reasonably intuitive claims with excess verbiage and many analogies, although rarely asking why those analogies are appropriate.
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Jason Brennan is Assistant Professor of Ethics, Economics, and Public Policy at Georgetown University. He is the author of The Ethics of Voting and co-author of A Brief History of Liberty. He also writes for the popular blog Bleeding Heart Libertarians.
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