Human sovereignty when a disease is controlled through restrictions on persons. Citizens’ views on whether scientific evidence for restrictions is necessary?

Publication details

  • Event: (Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Organiser: The International Association for Computing and Philosophy 

It is well known that ´during the covid19-pandemic, most governments imposed severe restrictions on their citizens. Norway has many similarities with Sweden but, in Sweden, restrictions on movement were voluntary and relied on nudging and individual implementation whereas, in Norway, most restrictions were legally binding and sanctioned with penalties (Nordensvärd, 2023). Norwegians and Swedes can be characterised as sharing Trägårdh’s statist individualism. In this paper we use empirical data on the attitudes of Norwegian citizens to this deviation from statist individualism. It is not very common use to empirical studies in philosophy, but sometimes it works (Konbe, 2015) to examine or test hypotheses, or to inform a theoretical discussion. We use data from a representative survey among Norwegian citizens. We found that one in four did not agree with Norwegian Government and the Norwegian Supreme Court on the need for scientific documentation. Normally it has been taken for granted that restrictions and interventions have a scientific basis and can be discussed before being implemented.