Jürgen Habermas is a German sociologist and philosopher. He is perhaps most well known for the concept of the “public sphere.” Contrasted against this sphere are the state and the private sphere.
Kara Swanson’s presentation on blood banks highlighted the move to commodify blood first, and then — at least partly in reaction to product liability concerns — to de-commodify it and move to a service-provider, gift-based system.
During the 1960s, left-leaning critics in the United States began to attack expert agencies they had once supported.
Frank Fischer’s Democracy and Expertise: Reorienting Policy Inquiry argues that the public in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries has increasingly gown critical and distrustful of the professions and their practices.
The Duhem-Quine thesis, when simplified, explains how a given set of facts can produce more than one apparently true conclusion: essentially, different background assumptions lead to different outcomes.
Theodore M. Porter, in Trust in Numbers, argues that the American distrust of elites — and of government itself — has led to a focus on …
In The Religion of Technology: The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention, David Noble investigates the Western relationship between religion and technology.
One key reason to study history? To learn from the past: (1) take small steps. (2) favor reversibility, (3) plan on surprises, and (4) plan on human inventiveness.
Stephen Turner’s book, Liberal Democracy 3.0, provides a useful background to the problem of expertise — especially scientific expertise — in a modern liberal democracy. What …
Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions — in many ways established the modern field of science studies. Stephen Turner provides a brief, socioligist’s version …
I gave a lecture the other day to an undergraduate history class on the topic of 19th-century legal history, mostly before the start of the Civil War (with hints to the future, of course).
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.