Science as Public Reason and the Controversiality Objection

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Science as Public Reason and the Controversiality Objection. / Kappel, Klemens.

In: Res Publica, Vol. 27, 05.03.2021, p. 619–639.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Harvard

Kappel, K 2021, 'Science as Public Reason and the Controversiality Objection', Res Publica, vol. 27, pp. 619–639. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11158-021-09503-6

APA

Kappel, K. (2021). Science as Public Reason and the Controversiality Objection. Res Publica, 27, 619–639. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11158-021-09503-6

Vancouver

Kappel K. Science as Public Reason and the Controversiality Objection. Res Publica. 2021 Mar 5;27:619–639. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11158-021-09503-6

Author

Kappel, Klemens. / Science as Public Reason and the Controversiality Objection. In: Res Publica. 2021 ; Vol. 27. pp. 619–639.

Bibtex

@article{2e7706eed42b44c3a00b59eac8d07139,
title = "Science as Public Reason and the Controversiality Objection",
abstract = "We all agree that democratic decision-making requires a factual input, and most of us assume that when the pertinent facts are not in plain view they should be furnished by well-functioning scientific institutions. But how should liberal democracy respond when apparently sincere, rational and well-informed citizens object to coercive legislation because it is based on what they consider a misguided trust in certain parts of science? Cases are familiar, the most prominent concerning climate science and evolution, but one may also count GMO-skepticism and vaccine-skepticism, and there are plenty of others. The paper defends what I, borrowing an expression from Badiola, call Science as Public Reason, asserting roughly that some policy-relevant factual proposition P is part of public reason if and only if there is consensus about P among scientific experts in the relevant well-functioning scientific institutions. I defend this view against the controversiality objection claiming that scientific findings cannot in this general way pass as public reason as they are sometimes controversial among reasonable citizens. My preferred line of defense is what I call Dogmatism about Science as Public Reason, which roughly amounts to insisting on Science as Public Reason on the ground that it is a philosophically well-motivated view, while conceding that it may not be acceptable to all minimally rational and well-informed individuals.",
keywords = "Controversiality objection, Legitimacy, Public reason, Rawls, Science as Public Reason, Science skepticism",
author = "Klemens Kappel",
note = "Publisher Copyright: {\textcopyright} 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. part of Springer Nature.",
year = "2021",
month = mar,
day = "5",
doi = "10.1007/s11158-021-09503-6",
language = "English",
volume = "27",
pages = "619–639",
journal = "Res Publica",
issn = "1356-4765",
publisher = "Springer",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Science as Public Reason and the Controversiality Objection

AU - Kappel, Klemens

N1 - Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. part of Springer Nature.

PY - 2021/3/5

Y1 - 2021/3/5

N2 - We all agree that democratic decision-making requires a factual input, and most of us assume that when the pertinent facts are not in plain view they should be furnished by well-functioning scientific institutions. But how should liberal democracy respond when apparently sincere, rational and well-informed citizens object to coercive legislation because it is based on what they consider a misguided trust in certain parts of science? Cases are familiar, the most prominent concerning climate science and evolution, but one may also count GMO-skepticism and vaccine-skepticism, and there are plenty of others. The paper defends what I, borrowing an expression from Badiola, call Science as Public Reason, asserting roughly that some policy-relevant factual proposition P is part of public reason if and only if there is consensus about P among scientific experts in the relevant well-functioning scientific institutions. I defend this view against the controversiality objection claiming that scientific findings cannot in this general way pass as public reason as they are sometimes controversial among reasonable citizens. My preferred line of defense is what I call Dogmatism about Science as Public Reason, which roughly amounts to insisting on Science as Public Reason on the ground that it is a philosophically well-motivated view, while conceding that it may not be acceptable to all minimally rational and well-informed individuals.

AB - We all agree that democratic decision-making requires a factual input, and most of us assume that when the pertinent facts are not in plain view they should be furnished by well-functioning scientific institutions. But how should liberal democracy respond when apparently sincere, rational and well-informed citizens object to coercive legislation because it is based on what they consider a misguided trust in certain parts of science? Cases are familiar, the most prominent concerning climate science and evolution, but one may also count GMO-skepticism and vaccine-skepticism, and there are plenty of others. The paper defends what I, borrowing an expression from Badiola, call Science as Public Reason, asserting roughly that some policy-relevant factual proposition P is part of public reason if and only if there is consensus about P among scientific experts in the relevant well-functioning scientific institutions. I defend this view against the controversiality objection claiming that scientific findings cannot in this general way pass as public reason as they are sometimes controversial among reasonable citizens. My preferred line of defense is what I call Dogmatism about Science as Public Reason, which roughly amounts to insisting on Science as Public Reason on the ground that it is a philosophically well-motivated view, while conceding that it may not be acceptable to all minimally rational and well-informed individuals.

KW - Controversiality objection

KW - Legitimacy

KW - Public reason

KW - Rawls

KW - Science as Public Reason

KW - Science skepticism

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85102204660&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11158-021-09503-6

DO - 10.1007/s11158-021-09503-6

M3 - Journal article

AN - SCOPUS:85102204660

VL - 27

SP - 619

EP - 639

JO - Res Publica

JF - Res Publica

SN - 1356-4765

ER -

ID: 262893624