Document (#31678)

Author
Sargent, S.
Title
Jurgen Habermas and the ethics of gatekeeping
Source
Cataloging and classification quarterly. 16(1993) no.3, S.7-15
Year
1993
Abstract
Collection development theory has generally neglected issues of fairness in the treatment of materials dealing with politics, religion, and other controversial subjects. The communication theory of Jurgen Habermas is proposed as a basis for a rational policy, and for dealing with difficult cases. It is suggested that as ideological conflict becomes less important in the relations between religious groups, it will be more acceptable for libraries to serve the particular religious interest of specific communities, rather than to treat religions as interest groups that, like political parties, should get "equal time" at all libraries. It is further argued that religious fundamentalism and "creation science" are not entitled in the library to "equal time" with science, since our society has made a provisional decision that such questions are most appropriately answered by conventional science. When the status of science is itself the issue, however, its critics from religion and elsewhere are entitled to a respectful and equitable hearing.

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