David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Episteme 7 (3):198-214 (2010)
There can be good reasons to doubt the authority of a group of scientists. But those reasons do not include lack of unanimity among them. Indeed, holding science to a unanimity or near-unanimity standard has a pernicious effect on scientific deliberation, and on the transparency that is so crucial to the authority of science in a democracy. What authorizes a conclusion is the quality of the deliberation that produced it, which is enhanced by the presence of a non-dismissible minority. Scientists can speak as one in more ways than one. We recommend a different sort of consensus that is partly substantive and partly procedural. It is a version of what Margaret Gilbert calls “joint acceptance” – we call it “deliberative acceptance.” It capitalizes on there being a persistent minority, and thereby encourages accurate reporting of the state of agreement and disagreement among deliberators.
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References found in this work BETA
Helen Longino (2002). The Fate of Knowledge. Princeton University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
Boaz Miller (2016). Scientific Consensus and Expert Testimony in Courts: Lessons From the Bendectin Litigation. Foundations of Science 21 (1):15-33.
Kristen Intemann & Inmaculada de Melo-Martín (2014). Are There Limits to Scientists' Obligations to Seek and Engage Dissenters? Synthese 191 (12):2751-2765.
Jeroen Van Bouwel (2015). Towards Democratic Models of Science. Exploring the Case of Scientific Pluralism. Perspectives on Science 23 (2):149-172.
Anton Froeyman, Laszlo Kosolosky & Jeroen Van Bouwel (2016). Introduction: Social Epistemology Meets the Philosophy of the Humanities. Foundations of Science 21 (1):1-13.
Frédéric Bouchard (forthcoming). The Roles of Institutional Trust and Distrust in Grounding Rational Deference to Scientific Expertise. Perspectives on Science:582-608.
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