Jeremy Waldron

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195376692
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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This article begins with a discussion of the meaning of the term democracy. It considers the ontology of democracy, arguing that we should not assume that the idea of rule by the people commits us to anything other than methodological or normative individualism. Democracy is an ideal of persons working together in the context of political procedures that treat them as equals. The fact that there may be tens or hundreds of millions of them involved in these processes does not alter the fact that democracy is a way of respecting individuals (equally) and taking their interests seriously. The discussion then turns to the principle of political equality and the principle of majority decision.

Keywords: democratic systems; political philosophy; political equality; ontology; majority decision

Article.  8569 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy

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