Linkonomicon: Science, Democracy, and Plato’s Revenge

Some decisions clearly require expert knowledge, but democracy is a commitment to letting consequential decisions be resolved by a group of people who are clearly not experts on every important issue, i.e. all of us. And so we have a problem.

My favorite philosopher of science, Philip Kitcher, says Plato would think we’re crazy:

If the public does not think a particular issue should be addressed, then it is entirely right that nothing should be done about it. Plato saw this as a fundamental commitment of democracy, and, because he understood that people may be massively deceived – or misled – about what is in their interests, he drew the conclusion that democracy is a political disaster.

But Kitcher doesn’t think Plato should have the last word. Go check out his ideas about the role of experts in democracy in “Plato’s Revenge: An Undemocratic Report from an Overheated Planet”, via the journal Logos

Author: Mike White

Genomes, Books, and Science Fiction

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