Knowing and acting: The precautionary and proactionary principles in relation to policy making

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Article discussing the relationship between knowledge (in the form of scientific risk assessment) and action (in the form of technological innovation) as they come together in policy, which itself is both a kind of knowledge and acting.

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23 p.

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Holbrook, J. Britt & Briggle, Adam 2013.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: UNT Scholarly Works and was provided by UNT College of Arts and Sciences to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 363 times , with 5 in the last month . More information about this article can be viewed below.

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Article discussing the relationship between knowledge (in the form of scientific risk assessment) and action (in the form of technological innovation) as they come together in policy, which itself is both a kind of knowledge and acting.

Physical Description

23 p.

Notes

Abstract: This essay explores the relationship between knowledge (in the form of scientific risk assessment) and action (in the form of technological innovation) as they come together in policy, which itself is both a kind of knowing and acting. It first illustrates the dilemma of timely action in the face of uncertain unintended consequences. It then introduces the precautionary and proactionary principles as different alignments of knowledge and action within the policymaking process. The essay next considers a cynical and a hopeful reading of the role of these principles in public policy debates. We argue that the two principles, despite initial appearances, are not all that different when it comes to formulating public policy. We also suggest that principles in general can be used either to guide our actions, or to determine them for us. We argue that allowing principles to predetermine our actions undermines the sense of autonomy necessary for true action.

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  • Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, 2013

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  • Publication Title: Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective
  • Volume: 2
  • Issue: 5
  • Page Start: 15
  • Page End: 37
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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UNT Scholarly Works

Materials from the UNT community's research, creative, and scholarly activities and UNT's Open Access Repository. Access to some items in this collection may be restricted.

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  • 2013

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  • April 26, 2013, 10:06 a.m.

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  • May 14, 2014, 1:45 p.m.

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Holbrook, J. Britt & Briggle, Adam. Knowing and acting: The precautionary and proactionary principles in relation to policy making, article, 2013; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc157308/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.