Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 31 (4):405-428 (2021)

Authors
Lucie White
Utrecht University
Abstract
Were governments justified in imposing lockdowns to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic? We argue that a convincing answer to this question is to date wanting, by critically analyzing the factual basis of a recent paper, “How Government Leaders Violated Their Epistemic Duties During the SARS-CoV-2 Crisis” (Winsberg et al. 2020). In their paper, Winsberg et al. argue that government leaders did not, at the beginning of the pandemic, meet the epistemic requirements necessitated to impose lockdowns. We focus on Winsberg et al.’s contentions that knowledge about COVID-19 resultant projections were inadequate; that epidemiologists were biased in their estimates of relevant figures; that there was insufficient evidence supporting the efficacy of lockdowns; and that lockdowns cause more harm than good. We argue that none of these claims are sufficiently supported by evidence, thus impairing their case against lockdowns, and leaving open the question of whether lockdowns were justified.
Keywords COVID-19  lockdown  philosophy of science  evidence  experts
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Reprint years 2021
DOI 10.1353/ken.2021.0028
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References found in this work BETA

History of Science and Its Rational Reconstructions.Imre Lakatos - 1970 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1970:91-136.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Epistemic Duties of Philosophers: An Addendum.Philippe van Basshuysen & Lucie White - 2021 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 31 (4):447-451.

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