International media have reported cases of pregnant women who have had their children apprehended by social services, or who were incarcerated or forced into treatment programs based on a history of substance use or lack of adherence to addiction treatment programs. Publicdiscourse on the biology of addiction has been criticized for generating stigma and a diminished perception of self-control in individuals with an addiction, potentially contributing to coercive approaches and criminalization of women who misuse substances during pregnancy. (...) We explored whether this is the case based on literature from social psychology, ethics, addiction research, science communication, and philosophy. The literature shows that the relationship between publicdiscourse on biological aspects of addiction and issues such as stigma and perceptions of diminished self-control are unclear, largely due to the complexity of these phenomena. However, concerns about the biological approach are nevertheless legitimate given the broader social and policy context of women’s health. (shrink)
It is widely believed that open and public speech is at the heart of the democratic ideal. Publicdiscourse is instrumentally epistemically valuable for identifying good policies, as well as necessary for resisting domination (e.g., by vocally challenging decision-makers, demanding public justifications, and using democratic speech to hold leaders accountable). But in our highly polarized and socially fragmented political environment, an increasingly pressing question is: do actual democratic societies live up to the ideal of inclusive (...) class='Hi'>public speech? In this essay, I explore Maxime Lepoutre's (2021) defence of discursive democracy from the challenge of defective publicdiscourse. I argue that political ignorance, dogmatism, and social fragmentation present more formidable challenges to discursive democracy than Lepoutre acknowledges. As a result, his account occasionally veers from warranted optimism to unwarranted idealism. (shrink)
Publicdiscourse is often caustic and conflict-filled. This trend seems to be particularly evident when the content of such discourse is around moral issues (broadly defined) and when the discourse occurs on social media. Several explanatory mechanisms for such conflict have been explored in recent psychological and social-science literatures. The present work sought to examine a potentially novel explanatory mechanism defined in philosophical literature: Moral Grandstanding. According to philosophical accounts, Moral Grandstanding is the use of moral (...) talk to seek social status. For the present work, we conducted six studies, using two undergraduate samples (Study 1, N = 361; Study 2, N = 356); a sample matched to U.S. norms for age, gender, race, income, Census region (Study 3, N = 1,063); a YouGov sample matched to U.S. demographic norms (Study 4, N = 2,000); and a brief, one-month longitudinal study of Mechanical Turk workers in the U.S. (Study 5, Baseline N = 499, follow-up n = 296), and a large, one-week YouGov sample matched to U.S. demographic norms (Baseline N = 2,519, follow-up n = 1,776). Across studies, we found initial support for the validity of Moral Grandstanding as a construct. Specifically, moral grandstanding motivation was associated with status-seeking personality traits, as well as greater political and moral conflict in daily life. (shrink)
The main purpose of this article is to tackle the problem of living together – as dignified human beings – in a certain territory in the field of social philosophy, on the theoretical grounding ensured by some remarkable exponents of the Austrian School − and by means of the praxeologic method. Because political tools diminish the human nature not only of those who use them, but also of those who undergo their effects, people can live a life worthy of a (...) human being only as members of some autarchic or self-governing communities. As a spontaneous order, every autarchic community is inherently democratic, inasmuch as it makes possible free involvement, peaceful coordination, free expression and the free reproduction of ideas. The members of autarchic communities are moral individuals who avoid aggression, practice self-control, seek a dynamical efficiency and establish a democratic publicdiscourse. (shrink)
Most studies of research integrity in the general media focus on the coverage of specific cases of misconduct. This paper tries to provide a more general, long-term perspective by analysing media discourse about research integrity and related themes in the Italian and United Kingdom daily press from 2000 to 2016. The results, based on a corpus of 853 articles, show that media coverage largely mirrors debates about integrity and misconduct. In fact, salient themes in the news include the importance (...) to overcome the so-called “rotten apple” paradigm; the key role of public trust in science; and the need to address flaws in the peer-review system. (shrink)
This paper offers a philosophical `history' of the nature of`publicdiscourse' â a basic element of human rights. It beginswith Enlightenment views from Condorcet and Jefferson, turns to Dewey,and then to Habermas. Over a couple of centuries not only does thecentral character of discourse change but so too does the definition ofa public person.
Jeremy Waldron, among others, has forcefully argued that public hate speech assaults the dignity of its targets. Without denying this claim, I contend that it fails to establish that bans, rather than counterspeech, are the appropriate response. By articulating a more refined understanding of counterspeech, I suggest that counterspeech constitutes a better way of blocking hate speech’s dignitarian harm. In turn, I address two objections: according to the first, which draws on contemporary philosophy of language, counterspeech does not block (...) enough hate speech; according to the second, counterspeech blocks too much speech. Although these objections should qualify our optimism regarding counterspeech, I demonstrate that each can be turned, with even greater force, against hate speech bans. (shrink)
ABSTRACTDemocracies, Dewey and others have argued, are ideally spaces of reasons – they allow for an exchange of reasons both practical and epistemic by those willing to engage in that discourse. That requires that citizens have convictions they believe in, but it also requires that they be willing to listen to each other. This paper examines how a particular psychological attitude, “epistemic arrogance,” can undermine the achievement of these goals. The paper presents an analysis of this attitude and then (...) examines four arguments for how its adoption – especially by the powerful – undermines the ideal of democracy as a space of reasons. (shrink)
Since the terms of the health policy debate in the United States and Canada are largely supplied by biomedicine, the current “crisis” in health care is, in part, a product of biomedical rhetoric. In this essay, three metaphors widely identified as being associated with biomedicine—the body is a machine, medicine is war,and medicine is a business—are examined with a view to the ways in which they influence the health policy debate, not only with respect to outcomes, but also with respect (...) to what can be argued at all. The essay proposes that biomedical language itself be foregrounded as the constitutive material of publicdiscourse on health policy. (shrink)
War metaphors are ubiquitous in discussions of everything from political campaigns to battles with cancer to wars against crime, drugs, poverty, and even salad. Why are warfare metaphors so common, and what are the potential benefits and costs to using them to frame important social and political issues? We address these questions in a detailed case study by reviewing the empirical literature on the subject and by advancing our own theoretical account of the structure and function of war metaphors in (...)publicdiscourse. We argue that war metaphors are omnipresent because they draw on basic and widely shared schematic knowledge that efficiently structures our ability to reason and communicate about many different types of situations, and they reliably express an urgent, negatively valenced emotional tone that captures attention and motivates action. Nevertheless, we find that the meaning of war metaphors is intimately tied to the context in which they are used, which may result in either positive or negative outcomes, depending on the situation. Thus, blanket statements about whether or not a war frame is useful are misguided or overly constraining. Here we situate our case study results in relation to popular theories of metaphoric representation and processing and offer some guidelines for using a war framing effectively. This work helps illuminate the complex, dynamic, and nuanced functions of metaphor in cognition in general, and in publicdiscourse in particular. (shrink)
The societal and ethical implications of artificial intelligence have sparked discussions among academics, policymakers and the public around the world. What has gone unnoticed so far are the likewise vibrant discussions in China. We analyzed a large sample of discussions about AI ethics on two Chinese social media platforms. Findings suggest that participants were diverse, and included scholars, IT industry actors, journalists, and members of the general public. They addressed a broad range of concerns associated with the application (...) of AI in various fields. Some even gave recommendations on how to tackle these issues. We argue that these discussions are a valuable source for understanding the future trajectory of AI development in China as well as implications for global dialogue on AI governance. (shrink)
This chapter explores the view that religious claims have no legitimate place in the public forum. This exploration involves a critical re-examination of the public versus private distinction that would place religious commitments and grounds for action in a sphere isolated from that of publicdiscourse and public choice. In the process, this chapter brings into question John Rawls's defense of a publicdiscourse that seeks to marginalize religious commitments.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. IS UNIVERSALLY REGARDED AS ONE OF THE most important figures in twentieth-century American public life. Yet his subtle integration of Christian faith and democratic values runs afoul of many current theories concerning faith, liberal democracy, and publicdiscourse. Putting John Rawls's secular liberalism and Stanley Hauerwas's Christian traditionalism in conversation with Martin Luther King's words and deeds reveals the weaknesses inherent in both Rawls's and Hauerwas's approaches. Furthermore, the exemplary model of public (...)discourse that King embodied provides clues to a way out of the impasse between secular liberalism and Christian traditionalism. Ultimately, this examination of Martin Luther King Jr. points toward a theocentric model of public engagement that is appropriate for publicdiscourse in a pluralistic, democratic context. (shrink)
Through the examination of recent developments in Iraq, Brazil and China, this paper explores the role of public communication in a) generating, corralling, and buttressing political legitimacy, and b) negotiating, demarcating, and reproducing collective identities. The transformation of Iraq’s public sphere after the fall of the Ba’ath regime saw it shift from a tightly controlled and unified communication space to unencumbered yet fragmented spheres split along ethno-sectarian lines, buttressing sectarian politics and identities. The emergence of subaltern publics in (...) Brazil’s favelas empowered residents to express public dissent, assert their voice, and develop pride in their community. Chinese efforts to control online publicdiscourse provide the government with ways of managing its perceived legitimacy and foster patriotic fellowship online. Legitimation and the affirmation of identity interact and support one another in publicdiscourse, as we illustrate. (shrink)
The relationship between knowledge, belief, and ethics is an inaugural theme in philosophy; more recently, under the title “ethics of belief” philosophers have worked to develop the appropriate methodology for studying the nexus of epistemology, ethics, and psychology. The title “ethics of belief” comes from a 19th-century paper written by British philosopher and mathematician W.K. Clifford. Clifford argues that we are morally responsible for our beliefs because each belief that we form creates the cognitive circumstances for related beliefs to follow, (...) and we inevitably influence each other through those beliefs. This study argues that recent cognitive research supports Cliffordian insights regarding patterns of belief formation and social influence. From the confirmation offered by such research, it follows that informational accuracy holds serious ethical significance in publicdiscourse. Although scientific and epistemological matters are not always thought to be linked to normative morality, this study builds on Clifford's initial insights to show their linkage is fundamental to inquiry itself. In turn, Clifford's ethical and epistemic outline can inform a framework grounded in “public reason” under which seemingly opposed science communication strategies are philosophically united. With publicdiscourse on climate change as the key example, empirically informed and grounded strategies for science communication in the public sphere are considered. (shrink)
Bioethics is best viewed as both a second-order discipline and also part of publicdiscourse. Since their goals differ, some bioethical activities are more usefully viewed as advancing publicdiscourse than academic disciplines. For example, the “Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights” sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization seeks to promote ethical guidance on bioethical issues. From the vantage of philosophical ethics, it fails to rank or specify its stated principles, justify (...) controversial principles, clarify key terms, or say what is meant by calling potentially conflicting norms “foundational.” From the vantage of improving the publicdiscourse about bioethical problems and seeking ethical solutions in the public arena, however, this document may have an important role. The goals and relations between bioethics as a second-order discipline and publicdiscourse are explored. (shrink)
Social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are starting to become places, where people present and evaluate various events in the world: terrorist attacks in London, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels. What is more, these websites influence values of their users and readers. Technologies allow people to exchange views at the very moment of the event. The time zone, area, or other physical aspects of the platform participants do not matter. However, this ability might cause negative impact on the discussed social (...) groups. The aim of this article – to analyse the discourse formation in media regarding refugees’ integration and humanitarian crisis in Europe. The goals of this study are: to figure out how the practices of public participation evidences in the context of communication through social media; to form a methodology according to up-to-date communicational concepts and analyse how the images of refugees are formed in social media; to reveal the main actors, involved in the formation of the discourse on refugees in Lithuania, by analysing the content in Facebook pages “Priimsiu pabėgėlį” and “Visuomeninis komitetas prieš priverstinę imigraciją”. (shrink)
Human embryonic stem cell research has generated considerable discussion and debate in bioethics. Bioethical discourse tends to focus on the moral status of the embryo as the central issue, however, and it is unclear how much this reflects broader community values and beliefs related to stem cell research. This paper presents the results of a study which aims to identify and classify the issues and arguments that have arisen in publicdiscourse associated with one prominent policy episode (...) in the United States: the 2004 Californian Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. The findings show that publicdiscourse about Proposition 71 is characterised by a broader range of issues than those usually addressed in scholarly publications and public policy documents. While attention to the moral status of the embryo is an important issue in stem cell research, making it the main focus of publicdiscourse has a polarising effect. This also limits opportunities to identify shared values, understand how political alliances are forged, and develop social consensus. Implications for future research and policy are discussed. (shrink)
The scientific consensus regarding anthropogenic climate change is firmly established yet climate change denialism, a species of what I call pseudoskepticism, is on the rise in industrial nations most responsible for climate change. Such denialism suggests the need for a robust ethics of inquiry and publicdiscourse. In this paper I argue: (1) that ethical obligations of inquiry extend to every voting citizen insofar as citizens are bound together as a political body. (2) It is morally condemnable for (...)public officials to put forward assertions contrary to scientific consensus when such consensus is decisive for public policy and legislation. (3) It is imperative upon educators, journalists, politicians and all those with greater access to the public forum to condemn, factually and ethically, pseudoskeptical assertions made in the public realm without equivocation. (shrink)
Contemporary universities are characteristic of an evident proliferation of corporate discourse. A sole concentration on the production of new knowledge and the education of students does not ensure the prosperity or even survival of universities any longer, and equally important are the admission of elite students, the outcome-based evaluation of academic performance, the establishment of alumni network and also fundraising. This article examines how and to what extent this trend of marketization has invaded the order of discourse of (...) Chinese universities. The research methodology combines the paradigms of critical discourse analysis and the tenets of critical genre analysis [Bhatia VK Towards critical genre analysis. In: Bhatia VK, Flowerdew J and Jones RH Advances in Discourse Studies. London: Routledge, pp. 166–177], with particular attention paid to the notion of genre, interdiscursivity and conversationalization. The texts examined include ceremonial speeches, regulatory documents, insiders’ accounts and field notes. Analytical results show that the trend of marketization, in spite of a potential threat for academic integrity, does facilitate the institutional restructuring and transformation of universities in the context of Mainland China. (shrink)
The argument is that Bildung has occupied Habermas from the earliest writings. In these writings he criticizes the idea of being educated as an expression of innate abilities and emphasizes instead the significance of the social conditions of the upbringing. This is the subject of the first section. The second section provides a presentation of the ideology-critical analysis of Bildung found in Habermas’s doctoral thesis on The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. The basic critique is that the ideal (...) of individual Bildung is too tightly connected to economic and political dominance, but still the ideal contains some truth. The third section maps his relatively sparse comments regarding Bildung in the subsequent decades. Significant here is Knowledge and Human Interest, where he works himself out of the philosophy of consciousness framework towards the Theory of communicative action. This becomes the communicative approach, which becomes the framework of Habermas’ discussion of Bildung, both in relation to philosophical ethics – discourse ethics – and in more specific discussions, such as what is the role of the university in modern society. Finally just a few words on the political philosophy and the philosophy of law, which Habermas presents in Between Facts and Norms, where he once again allows Bildung have a positive normative significance, but now in a collective communicative perspective. (shrink)
Rooted in different disciplines such as ethics, ecology, law, social and political sciences, this volume explore the normative approaches, societal practices, and legal mechanisms which have emerged in the nano-field over the last two decades.
Robert Coover’s Novel, The Public Buming, merges fantasy, history, and popular myth to respond to the American Cold War culture surrounding the trial of Ethal and Julius Rosenberg. While serving as a postmodern response to, and rewrite of, the Cold War ideological narratives, Coover’s novel also raises theoretical and practical questions concerning the author’s agency in the twentieth century. This article makes use of the language theories of Bruce Andrews, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Charles Peirce to consider how Coover’s fiction (...) addresses the conflict between the public and private self, authorial discourse and collective ideological discourse. Coover’s novel reflects on these tensions, foregrounding the erosion of an autonomous concept of self and a Romantic notion of autotelic creation. At the same time, it employs a range of strategies (recovery of alternative voices, dismantling of polarities, rewriting) as a form of resistance against the monologic narratives of the Cold War.Le roman de Robert Coover, The Public Buming, combine I’imaginaire, I’histoire, et le mythe populaire pour repondre ala culture de la guerre froide américaine dans laquelle baigne le procès d’Ethal et de Julius Rosenberg. Bien qu’il serve de reponse aux narrations ideologiques de la guerre froide et de réécriture de celles-ci, le roman de Coover soulève aussi des questions théoriques et pratiques relativement à I’action de I’auteur au vingtième siècle. Le présent article utilise les théories du langage de Bruce Andrews, Mikhail Bakhtin, et Charles Peirce afin d’analyser la façon dont le roman-fiction de Coover aborde le conflit entre le soi public et privé et entre le discours de I’auteur et le discours idéologique collectif. Le roman de Coover médite sur ces tensions en mettant I’accent sur I’erosion du concept autonome de soi et de la notion romantique de création autotélique. À la même occasion, il emploie un éventail de stratégies (recouvrement de contre-voix, démantèlement des polarités, réécriture) en tant que résistances aux narrations monoloqigues de la guerre froide. (shrink)
Alliance politics is not always an easy proposition. In public discourses about sexualities, unexpected alliances and splits occur even as accomplished alliances fail to achieve their political goals. By considering the models of agency enacted in a series of these alliances, I question how lesbian and feminist and queer actors can more effectively pursue alliance politics in relation to U.S. public policy.
Decisions concerning use of gene therapy will probably not be made within the privacy of what was once a dyadic doctor–patient relationship. More likely, some overarching guidelines will emerge directing or limiting the practice. Debate and position-taking over the myriad scientific, social, ethical, legal, and political implications of research into and manipulation of the human genome has intensified since the U.S. government officially launched the Human Genome Project in 1988 by appropriating funds to the Department of Energy and the National (...) Institutes of Health for genome research. The discourse this costly research endeavor has generated in the scientific and bioethics literature and even in the popular press outlines a host of issues likely to evoke attempts at line drawing and policymaking. Many of these issues lend themselves easily to the shorthand of dualistic opposition: somatic cell therapy versus germ line therapy or engineering ; correction of defects and disease only versus enhancement of conditions not considered defects or diseases; intervening on the basis of phenotype only versus intervening on the basis of genotype also. (shrink)
Taking Anthropogenic global warming as its framing example this paper develops an ethics of inquiry and publicdiscourse influenced by Rawlsian public reason. The need to embrace scientific fact during civil discourse on topics of moral and political controversy is stressed as an ethical mandate. The paper argues: (1) ethicists have a moral obligation to recognize scientific consensus when relevant to ethical discussions. (2) The failure to condemn science denialism when it interferes with the public’s (...) understanding of ethical issues is itself a moral failure (especially in an educational setting). (3) The endorsed ethics of inquiry and publicdiscourse encourages epistemic virtues that are desirable among members of a pluralistic society. (shrink)
In this article I discuss Burawoy's argument for public sociology in the context of the sociologist as both citizen and as social scientist; that is, as simultaneously a member of any 'society' being researched and as researcher claiming validity for the knowledge produced by research. I shall suggest that the relation between citizenship and social science necessarily places a limit on sociological claims to knowledge in terms both of what can be claimed and of the legitimacy of any claims, (...) but that this need not be damaging to sociology as an expert practice producing distinctive and significant forms of knowledge about the social world. Burawoy's claims on behalf of public sociology take their force from the idea of the sociologist as citizen, but they go beyond this limit in a way that would not only undermine the legitimacy of sociology as professional practice, but also, I shall argue, that of public sociology itself. Ultimately, Burawoy argues for a partisan profession that actively promotes human values that he believes to be embodied in the sociological standpoint. In contrast, I shall argue that political neutrality is central to the corporate organization of sociology, not because social inquiry can, or should be, value-neutral, but because corporate political neutrality creates the space for dialogue and is the condition for any sociology to have a voice. (shrink)