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.
Accepted for publication in Niker F & Bhattacharya A (eds.) Political Philosophy in a Pandemic: Routes to a More Just Future. London: Bloomsbury Academic. This item has been embargoed for a period on the source repository. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the source Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.