David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
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
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Citations of this work BETA
Boaz Miller (forthcoming). Scientific Consensus and Expert Testimony in Courts Lessons From the Bendectin Litigation. Foundations of Science:1-19.
Anton Froeyman, Laszlo Kosolosky & Jeroen Van Bouwel (forthcoming). Introduction: Social Epistemology Meets the Philosophy of the Humanities. Foundations of Science:1-13.
William Rehg (2013). The Social Authority of Paradigms as Group Commitments: Rehabilitating Kuhn with Recent Social Philosophy. Topoi 32 (1):21-31.
Jeroen Van Bouwel (2015). Towards Democratic Models of Science. Exploring the Case of Scientific Pluralism. Perspectives on Science 23 (2):149-172.
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín & Kristen Intemann (2014). Who's Afraid of Dissent?: Addressing Concerns About Undermining Scientific Consensus in Public Policy Developments. Perspectives on Science 22 (4):593-615.
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