with Dr. Arash Abizadeh

A recording of this session is available on our Vimeo channel.

Liberal egalitarians typically justify democracy by claiming that political institutions must respect the inherent freedom and equality of each person subjected to political power. I argue, however, that a full justification of democracy demands that political institutions also respect the inherent nobility of persons – their capacity to exercise their ethical and moral powers and to cultivate virtues of character. Since political institutions fail to respect the nobility of persons when they provide systematic incentives for individuals to debase themselves in order to succeed, this requirement challenges the widely held view that democracy requires multiparty competitive elections.

Arash Abizadeh teaches political philosophy at McGill University. He received his MPhil from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and his PhD from Harvard University.