Democracy, elitism, and scientific method

Inquiry 23 (1):3 – 18 (1980)
Scientific standards cannot be separated from the practice of science and their use presupposes immersion in this practice. The demand to base political action on scientific standards therefore leads to elitism. Democratic relativism, on the other hand, demands equal rights for all traditions or, conversely, a separation between the state and any one of the traditions it contains; for example, it demands the separation of state and science, state and humanitarianism, state and Christianity. Democratic relativism defends the rights of people to live as they see fit; it is also a most efficient means of probing traditions (such as ?scientific? medicine) that happen to be in the centre of attention: it has ethical as well as epistemological advantages
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    Paul Feyerabend (1977). Review: Changing Patterns of Reconstruction. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 28 (4):351 - 369.
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