“Trust Me—I’m a Public Intellectual”: Margaret Atwood’s and David Suzuki’s Social Epistemologies of Climate Science

In Michael Keren & Richard Hawkins‎ (eds.), Speaking Power to Truth: Digital Discourse and the Public Intellectual. Athabasca University Press‎. pp. 113-128 (2015)
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Abstract

Margaret Atwood and David Suzuki are two of the most prominent Canadian public ‎intellectuals ‎involved in the global warming debate. They both argue that anthropogenic global ‎warming is ‎occurring, warn against its grave consequences, and urge governments and the ‎public to take ‎immediate, decisive, extensive, and profound measures to prevent it. They differ, ‎however, in the ‎reasons and evidence they provide in support of their position. While Suzuki ‎stresses the scientific ‎evidence in favour of the global warming theory and the scientific ‎consensus around it, Atwood is ‎suspicious of the objectivity of science, and draws on an ‎idiosyncratic neo-Malthusian theory of ‎human development. Their implicit views ‎about the cognitive authority of science may be ‎identified with Critical Contextual Empiricism ‎and Feminist Standpoint Epistemology, respectively, ‎both of which face difficulties with ‎providing solid grounds for the position they advocate.‎ ‎.

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Boaz Miller
Zefat Academic College

Citations of this work

The Social Epistemology of Consensus and Dissent.Boaz Miller - 2019 - In David Henderson, Peter Graham, Miranda Fricker & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Social Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 228-237.
Expert Trespassing Testimony and the Ethics of Science Communication.Mikkel Gerken - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):299-318.
When Is Scientific Dissent Epistemically Inappropriate?Boaz Miller - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):918-928.

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