Programming a Philosophical Argument

This is an argument about the relationship between democratic inclusion and instrumental justifications of democracy. I show that any account of democracy that relies on the outcomes of democracy processes to demonstrate democracy’s value must have a congruent account of inclusion. Not only that, but because different accounts of democracy rely on different and incompatible accounts of inclusion, these accounts of democracy are themselves incompatible.

This paper is unique in that is simultaneously a philosophical argument and a computer simulation. Written in literate coffeescript, the code descibed in the paper can also be run by the coffeescript compiler to demonstrate the argument being described by the paper.

That’s from the introduction to Borders & Legitimacy. Not only is the subject compelling to anyone interested in democracy, its simultaneous existence as an interactive HTML interaction and a runnable node.js program is so cool. The source is on GitHub.

Via Jeremy Ashkenas


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