Southwest Philosophy Review

Volume 30, Issue 1, January 2014

Paul Gowder
Pages 235-242

Institutional Values, or How to Say What Democracy Is

In this paper, I describe a category of political values that I call “institutional values.” An institutional value (the quintessential examples of which are democracy and the rule of law) is distinct from an ordinary (or “abstract”) political value like justice by having both descriptive and evaluative components. I defend a method of sorting out correct from incorrect conceptions of an institutional value that relies on two ideas: coherence and verisimilitude.