Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Scientific Authority: An Epistemic Proceduralist Framework For The Legitimate Authority Of Science In Environmental Policy Public Deposited
  • The formation and implementation of effective environmental policies by Western liberal democracies are frequently hindered by disagreement over the appropriate role of scientific knowledge. In my dissertation, I argue this obstruction is resolved by recognizing the legitimate authority of science in environmental policy-making. Drawing on David Estlund’s epistemic proceduralist theory of democracy, I demonstrate the compatibility of the authority of scientific knowledge claims about the cause and effect relationships of the biophysical world in environmental policy-making with our normative expectations for the justifications of democratic governance. After defending this approach to understanding the science-policy interface, I demonstrate the feasibility of my theory and its expected impacts through detailed application to the case of climate policy. Specifically, I argue that the authority of science that I defend will increase the effectiveness of policies at achieving desired ends, while avoiding the difficulties presented by the politicization of scientific explanations.
Date Issued
  • 2015
Academic Affiliation
Committee Member
Degree Grantor
Commencement Year
Last Modified
  • 2019-11-16
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