Science in a Democratic Society

Author: Susan M. Schneider
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616144084
Format: PDF, Docs
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Are ghosts real? Are there truly haunted places, only haunted people, or both? And how can we know? Taking neither a credulous nor a dismissive approach, this first-of-its-kind book solves those perplexing mysteries and more-even answering the question of why we care so very much. From the most ancient times, people have experienced apparent contact with spirits of the dead. Some have awakened to see a ghost at their bedside or encountered a spectral figure gliding through a medieval castle. Others have seemingly communicated with spirits, like the Old Testament's Witch of Endor, the spiritualists whose darkroom séances provoked scientific controversy in the last two centuries, or today's "psychic mediums," like John Edward or Sylvia Browne, who seem to reach the "Other Side" even under the glare of television lights. Currently, equipment-laden ghost hunters stalk their quarry in haunted places-from urban houses to country graveyards-recording "anomalies" they insist cannot be explained. Putting aside purely romantic tales, this book examines the actual evidence for such contact-from eyewitness accounts to mediumistic productions (such as diaphanous forms materializing in dim light), spirit photographs, ghost-detection phenomena, and even CSI-type trace evidence. Offering numerous exciting case studies, this book engages in serious investigation rather than breathless mystifying. Pseudoscience, folk legends, and outright hoaxes are challenged and exposed, while the historical, cultural, and scientific aspects of ghost experiences and haunting reports are carefully explored. The author-the world's only professional paranormal investigator-brings his skills as a stage magician, private detective, folklorist, and forensic science writer to bear on a topic that demands serious study.

Scientists Democracy and Society

Author: Pierluigi Barrotta
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319749382
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This monograph examines the relationship between science and democracy. The author argues that there is no clear-cut division between science and the rest of society. Rather, scientists and laypeople form a single community of inquiry, which aims at the truth. To defend his theory, the author shows that science and society are both heterogeneous and fragmented. They display variable and shifting alliances between components. He also explains how information flow between science and society is bi-directional through “transactional” processes. In other words, science and society mutually define themselves. The author also explains how science is both objective and laden with values. Coverage includes a wide range of topics, such as: the ideal of value-free science, the is/ought divide, “thick terms” and the language of science, inductive risk, the dichotomy between pure science and applied science, constructivism and the philosophy of risk. It also looks at the concepts of truth and objectivity, the autonomy of science, moral and social inquiry, perfectionism and democracy, and the role of experts in democratic societies. The style is philosophical, but the book features many examples and case-studies. It will appeal to philosophers of science, those in science and technology studies as well as interested general readers.

Postdemokratie

Author: Colin Crouch
Publisher: Suhrkamp Verlag
ISBN: 3518785303
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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"Postdemokratie": Dieser Begriff des Politikwissenschaftlers Colin Crouch wurde nach dem Erscheinen der Originalausgabe seines Buches zum Kristallisationspunkt der Debatte um Politikverdrossenheit, Sozialabbau und Privatisierung. Crouch hat dabei ein politisches System im Auge, dessen demokratische Institutionen zwar weiterhin formal existieren, das von Bürgern und Politikern aber nicht länger mit Leben gefüllt wird. Der polemische Essay, der in Italien und Großbritannien bereits als Klassiker der Gegenwartsdiagnose gilt, liegt nun endlich auch in deutscher Übersetzung vor.

Peace and Democratic Society

Author: Amartya Sen
Publisher: Open Book Publishers
ISBN: 1906924392
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Civil Paths to Peace contains the analyses and findings of the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding, established in response to the 2005 request of Commonwealth Head of Government for the Commonwealth Secretary-General to 'explore initiatives to promote mutual understanding and respect among all faiths and communities in the Commonwealth.' This report focuses particularly on the issues of terrorism, extremism, conflict and violence, which are much in ascendancy and afflict Commonwealth countries as well as the rest of the world. It argues that cultivating respect and understanding is both important in itself and consequential in reducing violence and terrorism. It further argues that cultivated violence is generated through fomenting disrespect and fostering confrontational misunderstandings. The report looks at the mechanisms through which violence is cultivated through advocacy and recruitment, and the pre-existing inequalities, deprivations and humiliations on which those advocacies draw. These diagnoses also clear the way for methods of countering disaffection and violence. In various chapters the different connections are explored and examined to yield general policy recommendations. Accepting diversity, respecting all human beings, and understanding the richness of perspectives that people have are of great relevance for all Commonwealth countries, and for its 1.8 billion people. They are also importance for the rest of the world. The civil paths to peace are presented here for use both inside the Commonwealth and beyond its boundaries. The Commonwealth has survived and flourished, despite the hostilities associated with past colonial history, through the use of a number of far-sighted guiding principles. The Commission argues that those principles have continuing relevance today for the future of the Commonwealth--and also for the world at large.

Civility and Subversion

Author: Jeffrey C. Goldfarb
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521627238
Format: PDF, ePub
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This 1998 book provides a sophisticated alternative to existing accounts of the role of the intellectual in modern democracy. Arguing that society suffers from a systemic deliberation deficit, Jeffrey Goldfarb explores the potential of the intellectual as democratic agent, at once civilizing political contestation and subverting complacent consensus. The sentimental Leftist view of the intellectual as guardian of democracy and the demonising Rightist view of the intellectual as obstructor of progress, are both shown to be flawed. Instead, intellectuals are portrayed as special kinds of 'strangers' who pay careful attention to their critical faculties, equipping them uniquely to address the most pressing issues of today. Professor Goldfarb deploys classical and contemporary social theory to analyse a diverse set of intellectuals in action, from Socrates in fifth-century Athens to Malcolm X and Toni Morrison in twentieth-century America, and, drawing on personal acquaintance, the political dissidents in Communist and post-Communist Central Europe.

Public Science in Liberal Democracy

Author: Peter W. B. Phillips
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780802093592
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Regardless of whether science is practised in industry, the academy, or government, its conduct inescapably shapes and is shaped by democratic institutions. Moreover, the involvement of science with public policy formation and democracy has dramatically increased over the centuries and, by all accounts, will continue to do so. In order to understand the functioning of science and democracy, it is necessary to acknowledge the complex relationship between them. Public Science in Liberal Democracy aims to do this from an interdisciplinary perspective, presenting an array of substantively different positions on the issues that it explores. The volume focuses on three major questions: Can science retain independence and objectivity in the face of demands to meet commercial and public policy objectives? In what ways is scientific discourse privileged in the formation of public policy? How can scientific knowledge and methodology be made compatible with the interdisciplinarity and integration required of public policy formation and discourse? Representing a wide range of viewpoints, the contributors to Public Science in Liberal Democracy come from Canada, Europe, the United States, and Australia, and include practising scientists as well as scholars working in the humanities and social sciences. This timely and thought-provoking collection makes an important contribution to the literature and will appeal to anyone interested in scientific research and its political and philosophical ramifications in democratic society.

Understanding Risk

Author: National Research Council
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309133246
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Understanding Risk addresses a central dilemma of risk decisionmaking in a democracy: detailed scientific and technical information is essential for making decisions, but the people who make and live with those decisions are not scientists. The key task of risk characterization is to provide needed and appropriate information to decisionmakers and the public. This important new volume illustrates that making risks understandable to the public involves much more than translating scientific knowledge. The volume also draws conclusions about what society should expect from risk characterization and offers clear guidelines and principles for informing the wide variety of risk decisions that face our increasingly technological society. Understanding Risk Frames fundamental questions about what risk characterization means. Reviews traditional definitions and explores new conceptual and practical approaches. Explores how risk characterization should inform decisionmakers and the public. Looks at risk characterization in the context of the entire decisionmaking process. Understanding Risk discusses how risk characterization has fallen short in many recent controversial decisions. Throughout the text, examples and case studies--such as planning for the long-term ecological health of the Everglades or deciding on the operation of a waste incinerator--bring key concepts to life. Understanding Risk will be important to anyone involved in risk issues: federal, state, and local policymakers and regulators; risk managers; scientists; industrialists; researchers; and concerned individuals.