Science and Informed, Counterfactual, Democratic Consent

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Keren, Arnon
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conference paper description
On many science-related policy questions, the public is unable to make informed decisions, because of its inability to make use of knowledge and information obtained by scientists. Philip Kitcher and James Fishkin have both suggested therefore that on certain science-related issues, public policy should not be decided upon by actual democratic vote, but should instead conform to the public's Counterfactual Informed Democratic Decision (CIDD). Indeed, this suggestion underlies Kitcher's specification of an ideal of a well-ordered science. The paper argues that this suggestion misconstrues the normative significance of CIDDs. At most, CIDDs might have epistemic significance, but no authority or legitimizing force.