Climate ethics: Structuring deliberation by means of logical argument mapping

Title: Climate ethics: Structuring deliberation by means of logical argument mapping
Format: Journal Article
Publication Date: June 2011
Published In: Journal of Speculative Philosophy
Description: One of the first things President Obama did after coming to office was the establishment of the Office of Public Engagement. As described on its Web site, this office "is the embodiment of the President's goal of making government inclusive, transparent, accountable and responsible." The Office of Public Engagement is supposed to "create and coordinate opportunities for direct dialogue between the Obama Administration and the American public, while bringing new voices to the table and ensuring that everyone can participate and inform the work of the President." 1 As the president explained in his memorandum on transparency and open government, "Public engagement enhances the Government's effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge." 2 Indeed, knowledge is widely dispersed in modern societies. We find it not only in a growing number of scientific disciplines but also outside of academia in highly educated and skilled individuals and in local communities that know how policy decisions materialize "on the ground." For the scientific debate on "deliberative" or "participatory democracy," President Obama's initiatives are exciting news. Finally, so it seems, after Jürgen Habermas (1989) complained nearly fifty years ago that in capitalist societies the critical discourse of the public as the foundation of democratic decision making tends to be marginalized by the politicking of lobbies, private interests, and administrations, we see an attempt to "establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration," as the president writes. 3 From a theoretical point of view, the central idea of "deliberative democracy" can be summarized by a definition formulated by Andrew Smith: Theories of © 2010 Project MUSE®.
Ivan Allen College Contributors:
Citation: Journal of Speculative Philosophy. 25. Issue 1. 64 - 97. ISSN 0891-625X. DOI 10.5325/jspecphil.25.1.0064.
Related Departments:
  • School of Public Policy