Readers are introduced to how an anti-naturalist framework can ground a distinctively deliberative and interpretive turn in public policy. Over the last three decades there has been an important shift among a minority of public policy scholars toward interpretive and deliberative modes that are critical of naturalism’s justification of rule by supposedly scientific experts of human behavior. Like the interpretive turn more generally, this deliberative remaking of public policy has drawn on a great diversity of philosophical sources, including phenomenology, discourse theory, Dewey’s pragmatism, and post-structuralism. While we embrace the fact that this transformation of policy discourse and practice can be reached by a variety of philosophical routes, we also argue that an anti-naturalist framework can clarify certain confusions that cloud these debates.
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