Philosophy, social institutions, and the ethics of belief: A response to Buchanan

Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (3):299-306 (2009)
Abstract
abstract First, Allen Buchanan, in the version of his paper entitled 'Philosophy and public policy: a role for social moral epistemology' that he presented at the workshop on 'Philosophy and Public Policy' held at the British Academy in London on March 8 th 2008, seems to imply that professional, academic philosophers have had little impact upon public policy. I mention an area where it can be argued in response that they have had a more benign, as well as a more widespread, influence on society than Buchanan acknowledges in that version of his paper: in legislation concerning animal welfare. Second, I question whether or not the liberal commitment to freedom of religion is compatible with the ethics of belief that Buchanan appears to advocate.
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