Well-ordered science and public trust in science
Irzık, Gürol and Kurtulmuş, Faik (2018) Well-ordered science and public trust in science. Synthese . ISSN 0039-7857 (Print) 1573-0964 (Online) Published Online First http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-02022-7
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-02022-7
Building, restoring and maintaining well-placed trust between scientists and the public is a difficult yet crucial social task requiring the successful cooperation of various social actors and institutions. Kitcher’s (Science in a democratic society, Prometheus Books, Amherst, 2011) takes up this challenge in the context of liberal democratic societies by extending his ideal model of “well-ordered science” that he had originally formulated in his (Science, truth, and democracy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2001). However, Kitcher nowhere offers an explicit account of what it means for the public to invest epistemic trust in science. Yet in order to understand how his extended model and its implementation in the actual world address the problem of trust as well as to evaluate it critically, an explicit account of epistemic public trust in science needs to be given first. In this article we first present such an account and then scrutinize his project of building public trust in science in light of it. We argue that even though Kitcher’s ideal model and his proposals for its implementation in the real world face a number of problems, they can be addressed with the resources of our account.
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