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Communication and Medicine

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Commentary 2. ‘Telling the truth about genomics’: Legitimating a third voice: The role of philosophy in societal debates

Robert Frodeman
Published Online: 2006-06-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CAM.2006.010


Knowledge production is never simply about increasing the reservoir of information. It is also and equally about answering what Kant called the quid jure: By what right? Who is allowed to speak authoritatively on a subject? There are any number of people who have made a self-study of law, history, or medicine, or who for one reason or another quit their studies just before being awarded their final certification. These individuals may be quite able to competently address issues within a particular domain of knowledge. But only those who have passed the bar, been awarded the Ph.D., or have passed their medical boards have standing, are considered proper experts who are authorized to pronounce on a subject. These experts form closed groups that perpetuate their power by establishing chokeholds over access to and the dissemination of information in their fields—via peer review, journals, and professional associations.

About the article

Robert Frodeman

Robert Frodeman is Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies at the University of North Texas. He is the Director of the New Directions Initiative, editor of Earth Matters: The Earth Sciences, Philosophy, and the Claims of Community (Prentice Hall, 2000), co-editor of Rethinking Nature (Indiana, 2004), author of Geo-Logic (SUNY, 2003), and former Director of the Global Climate Change and Society Program.

1Address for correspondence: Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies, University of North Texas, 225 EESAT, Box 310920, Denton, TX 76203, USA.

Published Online: 2006-06-19

Published in Print: 2006-05-01

Citation Information: Communication & Medicine, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 95–96, ISSN (Online) 1613-3625, ISSN (Print) 1612-1783, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CAM.2006.010.

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