Kitcher has rethought the meaning of public knowledge from the ground up. The result is a blueprint for a new relationship between science and citizens that takes us beyond the confrontation of arrogant experts and ignorant laypeople. At once practical and visionary, this lucid book should be read by anyone who cares about the future of science—and the future of democracy.”
—Lorraine Daston, director, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
“Philip Kitcher takes on the challenge of reconciling scientific cognitive authority with political egalitarian democracy. Grounded in the humanism of ‘the ethical project,’ an unwavering commitment to the possibility of knowledge, and analysis of some of the particular trouble spots in contemporary science-society relations, this is a worthy and welcome successor to his Science, Truth, and Democracy.”
—Helen E. Longino, Clarence Irving Lewis Professor in Philosophy, Stanford University
In this successor to his pioneering Science, Truth, and Democracy, renowned philosopher Philip Kitcher revisits the topic explored in his previous work—namely, the challenges of integrating science, the most successful knowledge-generating system of all time, with the problems of democracy. But in this new work, Kitcher goes far beyond that earlier book in studying places at which the practice of science fails to answer social needs.
Kitcher considers a variety of examples of pressing concern, ranging from climate change to religiously inspired constraints on biomedical research to the neglect of diseases that kill millions of children annually, analyzing the sources of trouble. He shows the fallacies of thinking that democracy always requires public debate of issues most people cannot comprehend, and argues that properly constituted expertise is essential to genuine democracy.
No previous book has treated the place of science in democratic society so comprehensively and systematically, with attention to different aspects of science and to pressing problems of our times.
FURTHER CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR SCIENCE IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY:
"Kitcher’s new book is an outstanding contribution to the more recent social and political turn of philosophy of science. It’s a stunning piece of work and the right kind of study we need."
—Martin Carrier, professor of philosophy Bielefeld University, Germany
"In this book, Kitcher takes on some of the most urgent problems of our times, prodding us to give them the attention they require. In doing so, he offers us an invaluable gift."
—Evelyn Fox Keller, Professor Emerita Program in Science, Technology, and Society, MIT
“Not free inquiry, but the good of society democratically determined is the ideal by which science should be governed, argues Kitcher in this radical yet eminently reasonable book. Essential reading for anyone interested in science, science policy, or the future of the human race.”
—Michael Strevens, professor of philosophy, New York University
“Starting from the principles of an epistemic division of labor and the fullest possible political engagement of citizens in a democracy, philosopher Philip "In this excellent complement to Science, Truth and Democracy, Kitcher offers a convincing elaboration and defense of his proposal for 'well-ordered science.' His arguments are profound yet resolutely reasonable and accessible, with his signature combination of philosophical erudition and plain good sense. Kitcher's mastery of the epistemology of science is unquestioned, but the wisdom in this volume also comes in the form of searching deliberations about ethics and human values. This should be required reading for anyone thinking about the proper place of science in a good society."
—Hasok Chang, Hans Rausing Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge
Shipping Weight: 2lbs
Philip Kitcher (New York, NY) is John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. He is the author of twelve books, including Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith; In Mendel’s Mirror: Philosophical Reflections on Biology; Science, Truth, and Democracy; and The Lives to Come: The Genetic Revolution and Human Possibilities. Professor Kitcher was the first recipient of the Prometheus Prize awarded by the American Philosophical Association for “lifetime contribution to expanding the frontiers of research in philosophy and science.” He is also the winner of many other awards, most recently the Award for Distinguished Service to the Columbia Core Curriculum, the Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award from Columbia University, the Lannan Foundation Notable Book Award (given for Living with Darwin), and the Friend of Darwin Award (given by the National Committee on Science Education).