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On the justification of expertise in the democratic society

Journal: The Digital Scholar: Philosopher’s Lab (Vol.3, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 67-79

Keywords : expertise; communication; scientific imperialism; expansion; interdisciplinarity; democracy;

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The article considers the problem of the status of scientific expertise in a democratic society. The author characterizes the rationality of expertise as a result of the interaction and/or conflict between the agent's rational attitudes in science and politics. Referring to the ideas of W. Lipp-mann and P. Bourdieu, the author characterizes the specifics of the symbolic power of a scientific expert, noting that scientific examination in a democratic society is designed to represent the state of scientific knowledge. At the same time, deliberative procedures can contribute to the formation of public consensus regarding the im-plementation of solutions proposed by scientists. The author notes that this kind of self-limitation of expertise could be considered as an important condition for its depoliticization and preservation of the scientific status itself. She claims that the described distribution of powers between experts and the public helps minimize the risks of technocratism and populism that are fraught with the development of scientific expertise. In the second part of the article, the author considers the problem of communication between disciplines that are involved in the development of programs for political reform of society. The author analyzes the concept of scientific imperialism and considers the arguments of critics of disciplinary expansion. She characterizes the standpoints of John Dupree and Tony Lawson, and also reconstructs the ideological foundations underlying the program of moderate unificationism in the science by Philip Kitcher. The author concludes that modern epistemology is increasingly turning to political rhetoric in order to evaluate various methodological trends. This feature makes it possible to assert that the development of expertise is characterized not only by the expansion of scientific rationality, but also by the “politicization” (and sometimes “democratization”) of science itself.

Last modified: 2020-09-03 22:07:56