Adams M & Niker F (2021) Harnessing the Epistemic Value of Crises for Just Ends. In: Niker F & Bhattacharya A (eds.) Political Philosophy in a Pandemic: Routes to a More Just Future. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 219-232. https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/political-philosophy-in-a-pandemic-9781350225893/
Public debate surrounding COVID-19 has been infused with a dimension of hope. This chapter examines the nature and value of this optimism. First, it argues that crises perform the epistemic function of transforming people’s understanding of the world in significant ways. Second, drawing on interdisciplinary literature about salience and nudging, the chapter explores how this epistemic function might be enhanced through both direct and indirect means, for the purposes of achieving a more just world. In so doing, it addresses some psychological and ethical concerns that such means raise.