Knowing and acting: The precautionary and proactionary principles in relation to policy making Metadata
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- Main Title Knowing and acting: The precautionary and proactionary principles in relation to policy making
Author: Holbrook, J. BrittCreator Type: PersonalCreator Info: University of North Texas
Author: Briggle, AdamCreator Type: PersonalCreator Info: University of North Texas
- Creation: 2013
- Content Description: 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.
- Keyword: precautionary principles
- Keyword: proactionary principles
- Keyword: policy
- Keyword: decision procedure
- Journal: Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, 2013
- Publication Title: Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective
- Volume: 2
- Issue: 5
- Page Start: 15
- Page End: 37
- Peer Reviewed: True
Name: UNT Scholarly WorksCode: UNTSW
Name: UNT College of Arts and SciencesCode: UNTCAS
- Rights Access: public
- Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc157308
- Academic Department: Philosophy and Religion Studies
- Display Note: 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.