Science and Democracy

  • Pierluigi Barrotta
Part of the Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning book series (LARI, volume 16)


We have seen why the moral responsibility of science is inevitable. However, society taken as a whole collaborates with science: scientists and ordinary citizens are members of a single community of inquiry, whose aim is the truth. After examining the features of a ‘perfectionist’ democracy, I will clarify why it does not represent a utopian ideal by examining the role and characteristics of both experts and public opinion. We will appreciate how science and society are both fragmented and subject to variable alliances. Finally, we will see the differences between this and other conceptions of the relationship between science and democracy. In this context, the essential role of the concept of truth will be confirmed.


Democracy (proceduralist d., perfectionist d.) Experts ( e. and public opinion, disagreement among experts, contributory e., interactional e., reliabilityof e., direct and indirect methods for evaluation e.) Fact-value dichotomy (f.-v. dichotomy and the dichotomy between technical/scientific phase and political/social phase, f.-v. dichotomy and Popper’s Open Society) pseudo-science Public and private sphere Public opinion (see public sphere, see experts and public opinion) Republic of Science (Rep. of Science and the idea of a Community of Inquirers, Rep. of Science and its two principles of co-ordination); Science and Technology Studies (three waves of STS) Tacit knowledge Transactions (indirect consequencesof t., see public opinion) Truth (double theory of t. t, as correspondence, pragmatist theory of t.) Virtues (v. and values, moral and epistemic v.) 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierluigi Barrotta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civilizations and Forms of KnowledgeUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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