The trust-based communicative obligations of expert authorities
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This article analyses the extent to which expert authorities have basic communicative obligations to be open, honest, and transparent, with a view to shaping strategies of public engagement with such authorities. This article is in part a response to epistemic paternalists such as Stephen John, who argue that the communicative obligations of expert authorities, such as scientists, permit the use of lying, or lack of openness and transparency, as a means of sustaining public trust in scientific authority. In this article, I elucidate John’s position and reject it. I argue that expert authorities have strong communicative obligations to be open, honest, and transparent, which are grounded in the insight that such authorities hold positions of public trust. After demonstrating how this insight undermines John’s position, I conclude the article by considering the implications regarding public engagement with expert authorities.
Kelsall , J 2021 , ' The trust-based communicative obligations of expert authorities ' , Journal of Applied Philosophy , vol. 38 , no. 2 , pp. 288-305 . https://doi.org/10.1111/japp.12465
Journal of Applied Philosophy
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Applied Philosophy published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for Applied Philosophy. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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