Department of Political Science

Dead People and the All-Affected Principle

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Discussions of the all-affected principle as a solution to the boundary problem – how do we specify the group making democratic decisions? – have focused extensively on future people. We have yet to focus on dead people, however. This article tries to bridge this gap by arguing that the all-affected principle – i.e. the all actually affected interests principle – entails inclusion of dead people. This is true because dead people can be harmed or legally affected, and this is sufficient for having a claim to democratic inclusion. The last part of the article discusses where this leaves the all-affected principle in the quest for the proper boundary principle, including a discussion of possible institutional solutions to the enfranchisement of dead people.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Philosophy
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

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