Description

I briefly present empirical findings suggesting that citizens in contemporary democracies face great difficulties in arriving at an accurate picture of the world and of the relevant policy options and in identifying trustworthy sources of information. Unfortunately, these difficulties do not seem to diminish with more education or with more effort and attention. I argue that a highly polluted information environment can defeat the sorts of strategies generally recommended to individuals under the label 'critical thinking.’ Finally, I consider what sort of institutional or systemic conditions would be necessary to provide citizens with a manageable epistemic task.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Distrusting Climate Science: A Problem in Practical Epistemology for Citizens

I briefly present empirical findings suggesting that citizens in contemporary democracies face great difficulties in arriving at an accurate picture of the world and of the relevant policy options and in identifying trustworthy sources of information. Unfortunately, these difficulties do not seem to diminish with more education or with more effort and attention. I argue that a highly polluted information environment can defeat the sorts of strategies generally recommended to individuals under the label 'critical thinking.’ Finally, I consider what sort of institutional or systemic conditions would be necessary to provide citizens with a manageable epistemic task.

 

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