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  1. Science as Public Reason and the Controversiality Objection.Klemens Kappel - 2021 - Res Publica 27 (4):619-639.
    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 (...)
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  • A Different Kind of Rigor: What Climate Scientists Can Learn From Emergency Room Doctors.Kent A. Peacock - forthcoming - Ethics, Policy, and Environment.
    James Hansen and others have argued that climate scientists are often reluctant to speak out about extreme outcomes of anthropogenic carbonization. According to Hansen, such reticence lessens the chance of effective responses to these threats. With the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet as a case study, reasons for scientific reticence are reviewed. The challenges faced by scientists in finding the right balance between reticence and speaking out are both ethical and methodological. Scientists need a framework within which to (...)
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  • The Ethics of Belief, Cognition, and Climate Change Pseudoskepticism: Implications for Public Discourse.Lawrence Torcello - 2016 - Topics in Cognitive Science 8 (1):19-48.
    The relationship between knowledge, belief, and ethics is an inaugural theme in philosophy; more recently, under the title “ethics of belief” philosophers have worked to develop the appropriate methodology for studying the nexus of epistemology, ethics, and psychology. The title “ethics of belief” comes from a 19th-century paper written by British philosopher and mathematician W.K. Clifford. Clifford argues that we are morally responsible for our beliefs because each belief that we form creates the cognitive circumstances for related beliefs to follow, (...)
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  • A Different Kind of Rigor: What Climate Scientists Can Learn From Emergency Room Doctors.Kent A. Peacock - 2018 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 21 (2):194-214.
    ABSTRACTJames Hansen and others have argued that climate scientists are often reluctant to speak out about extreme outcomes of anthropogenic carbonization. According to Hansen, such reticence lessens the chance of effective responses to these threats. With the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet as a case study, reasons for scientific reticence are reviewed. The challenges faced by scientists in finding the right balance between reticence and speaking out are both ethical and methodological. Scientists need a framework within which to (...)
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  • Moral Agnosticism: An Ethics of Inquiry and Public Discourse.Lawerence Torcello - 2014 - Teaching Ethics 14 (2):3-16.
    Taking Anthropogenic global warming as its framing example this paper develops an ethics of inquiry and public discourse influenced by Rawlsian public reason. The need to embrace scientific fact during civil discourse on topics of moral and political controversy is stressed as an ethical mandate. The paper argues: (1) ethicists have a moral obligation to recognize scientific consensus when relevant to ethical discussions. (2) The failure to condemn science denialism when it interferes with the public’s understanding of ethical issues is (...)
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  • Science as Public Reason: A Restatement.Cristóbal Bellolio Badiola - 2018 - Res Publica 24 (4):415-432.
    According to John Rawls, the methods and conclusions of science—when these are non-controversial—constitute public reasons. However, several objections have been raised against this view. This paper focuses on two objections. On the one hand, the associational objection states that scientific reasons are the reasons of the scientific community, and thus paradigmatically non-public in the Rawlsian sense. On the other hand, the controversiality objection states that the non-controversiality requirement rules out their public character when scientific postulates are resisted by a significant (...)
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  • Charging Others With Epistemic Vice.Ian James Kidd - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):181-197.
    This paper offers an analysis of the structure of epistemic vice-charging, the critical practice of charging other persons with epistemic vice. Several desiderata for a robust vice-charge are offered and two deep obstacles to the practice of epistemic vice-charging are then identified and discussed. The problem of responsibility is that few of us enjoy conditions that are required for effective socialisation as responsible epistemic agents. The problem of consensus is that the efficacy of a vice-charge is contingent upon a degree (...)
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  • Climate Science Denial as Willful Hermeneutical Ignorance.Sharon E. Mason - 2020 - Social Epistemology 34 (5):469-477.
    Climate science denial results from ignorance and perpetuates ignorance about scientific facts and methods of inquiry. In this paper, I explore climate science denial as a type of active ignorance...
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  • What's the Harm? Why the Mainstreaming of Complementary and Alternative Medicine is an Ethical Problem.Lawrence Torcello - 2013 - Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine 4 (4):333-344.
    This paper argues that it is morally irresponsible for modern medical providers or health care institutions to support and advocate the integration of CAM practices (i.e. homeopathy, acupuncture, energy healing, etc.) with conventional modern medicine. The results of such practices are not reliable beyond that of placebo. As a corollary, it is argued that prescribing placebos perceived to stand outside the norm of modern medicine is morally inappropriate. Even when such treatments do no direct physical harm, they create unnecessary barriers (...)
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  • The Quinean Assumption. The Case for Science as Public Reason.Cristóbal Bellolio - 2019 - Social Epistemology 33 (3):205-217.
    ABSTRACTThe status of scientific knowledge in political liberalism is controversial. Although Rawls argued that the noncontroversial methods and conclusions of science belong to the kind of reasons that citizens can legitimately call forth in public deliberation, critics have observed that the complexity and elaborateness of scientific arguments drive them away from the spirit of public reason, i.e., that which should reflect judgments that are the product of general beliefs and forms of reasoning found in common sense. In other words, scientific (...)
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  • Scientific Facts and Methods in Public Reason.Karin Jønch-Clausen & Klemens Kappel - 2016 - Res Publica 22 (2):117-133.
    Should scientific facts and methods have an epistemically privileged status in public reason? In Rawls’s public reason account he asserts what we will label the Scientific Standard Stricture: citizens engaged in public reason must be guided by non-controversial scientific methods, and public reason must be in line with non-controversial scientific conclusions. The Scientific Standard Stricture is meant to fulfill important tasks such as enabling the determinateness and publicity of the public reason framework. However, Rawls leaves us without elucidation with regard (...)
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