Democracy and the digital expert. The Lippmann-Dewey debate and the challenges of artificial intelligence
No Thumbnail Available
In this thesis I revisit the great debate from the 1920’s between American philosophers Walter Lippmann and John Dewey about the future of democracy. The questions at hand: Can Dewey’s pragmatist solutions for democracy deal with the challenges of artificial intelligence? Or is Lippmann’s technocracy becoming increasingly unavoidable given these challenges? To answer this question I introduce the concept of the performative digital expert [P.D.E.], based on Bruce D. Weinstein’s concept of performative expertise. to analyze the use of artificial intelligence in democracy. Lippmann’s critiques of democracy stand strong in the current climate of fake news and extremist rabbit-holes, but both Lippmann’s and Dewey’s proposed society struggle with the opaqueness of the P.D.E. While Lippmann’s technocracy seems to allow their use in some specific instances and in some minor roles, Dewey’s concepts of social knowledge and democracy as an ideal seem inherently incompatible with their opaqueness and tendency to reaffirm the status quo. These findings lead to a negative answer to both research questions.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen