Policy Expertise and Citizen Participation in Public Deliberation: Technical Knowledge in Practical Reason |

Policy Expertise and Citizen Participation in Public Deliberation: Technical Knowledge in Practical Reason

Synopsis:
This presentation examines the tensions between citizens and experts in the assessment of controversial environmental issues. Much of the discussion of this topic has focused on the “irrationality” of the citizen, particular the citizen’s inability to understand or accept expert findings and its implications for rational environmental policymaking. Through a comparison of the formal logic of science and the informal ordinary language logic of argumentation, the analysis establishes a distinction between technical and cultural modes of reason. Based on this distinction, the discussion turns the question around and questions the rationality of the scientific expert in decisions pertaining to public policy. The presentation will show that ordinary citizens rationally focus on important socio-cultural questions that scientific experts ignore or neglect. Epistemologically demonstrating the scientist’s need to integrate the citizen’s cultural reason, the seminar concludes with an approach for bringing them together. Click here for more info.
Speaker(s):

Frank Fischer, Professor of Political Science, Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University

Date:
Friday, 05 December 2008
Time:
12.15 p.m. - 1.30 p.m.
Venue:
Seminar Room 3-5, Level 3, Manasseh Meyer, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, 469C Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259772

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