The ‘particularity problem’ is one of the most important objections to the putative duty to vote. The problem holds that the reasons usually given on behalf of a duty to vote fail to show there is a duty specifically to vote, but only at best show that voting is one of the many eligible ways to discharge some underlying duty, such as to exercise civic virtue, to contribute to others’ welfare, to avoid free-riding, or to avoid complicity with injustice. For instance, instead of voting for the purpose of avoiding complicity with injustice, one might engage in activism. Julia Maskivker’s recent work represents the most important and significant attempt to overcome this objection since it appeared. She argues, in effect, ‘Why not both?’ She claims that common sense considerations of Good Samaritanism show that most citizens should both vote and perform these other activities. However, in this article, we show that she fails to overcome the particularity problem.
Must Good Samaritans vote?
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