Epistemic Paternalism: Conceptions, Justifications and Implications

Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield International (2020)
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This volume considers forms of information manipulation and restriction in contemporary society. It explores whether and when manipulation of the conditions of inquiry without the consent of those manipulated is morally or epistemically justified. The contributors provide a wealth of examples of manipulation, and debate whether epistemic paternalism is distinct from other forms of paternalism debated in political theory. Special attention is given to medical practice, science communication, and research in science, technology, and society. Some of the contributors argue that unconsenting interference with or "conceptual engineering" of people’s beliefs and ability of inquire is consistent with, and others that it is inconsistent with, efforts to democratize knowledge and decision-making.

Author's Profile

Guy Axtell
Radford University


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