Quine, Science, and Political Liberalism: A Reply to Bonotti, Badano, and Gómez-Aguliar

Área de publicación Politica
Tipo de publicación Artículos
Fecha de publicación 2019

In “The Quinean Assumption: The Case for Science as Public Reason” (Bellolio 2019), I argue that liberals need to introduce a crucial assumption into the argument that scientific reasons are public in the Rawlsian sense. This assumption—taken from W.V.O. Quine’s naturalized epistemology—states that scientific reasoning and everyday reasoning are not two different kinds but form an epistemic continuum, in which the latter is but an upgrade of the former (see Quine 1957). Once this assumption is introduced, public reason liberals—as they have become known for the centrality they give to public justification—can argue that the complexity and elaborateness of specific scientific arguments does not imply that they are inaccessible in the relevant sense, since everyone nonetheless acknowledge the underlying logic of scientific reasoning in their ordinary affairs, a universal trait that Quine called a “lay flair for evidence” (1957, 6).

To this article, Matteo Bonotti, Gabriele Badano and Ivan Gómez-Aguliar have elaborated three different responses for which I am very grateful. In their own way, each identifies blind spots of the argument that should be clarified, specified, amended and improved. I proceed to reply in turn.

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