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A New Direction for Science and Values

Hicks, Daniel (2014) A New Direction for Science and Values. Synthese. ISSN 1573-0964

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Abstract

The controversy over the old ideal of ``value-free science'' has cooled significantly over the past decade. Many philosophers of science now agree that even ethical and political values may play a substantial role in all aspects of scientific inquiry. Consequently, in the last few years, work in science and values has become more specific: Which values may influence science, and in which ways? Or, how do we distinguish illegitimate from illegitimate kinds of influence? In this paper, I argue that this problem requires philosophers of science to take a new direction. I present two case studies in the influence of values on scientific inquiry: feminist values in archaeology and commercial values in pharmaceutical research. I offer a preliminary assessment of these cases, that the influence of values was legitimate in the feminist case, but not in the pharmaceutical case. I then turn to three major approaches to distinguish legitimate from illegitimate influences of values, including the distinction between epistemic and non-epistemic values and Heather Douglas' distinction between direct and indirect roles for values. I argue that none of these three approaches gives an adequate analysis of the two cases. In the concluding section, I briefly sketch my own approach, which draws more heavily on ethics than the others, and is more promising as a solution to the current problem. This is the new direction in which I think science and values should move.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Hicks, Danielhicks.daniel.j@gmail.com
Keywords: science and values; feminism; pharmaceuticals; commercial science; relativism; epistemic values; direct and indirect roles for values
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology and Archaeology
General Issues > Ethical Issues
General Issues > Feminist Approaches
Specific Sciences > Medicine
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Dan Hicks
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2014 13:41
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2014 13:41
Item ID: 11036
Journal or Publication Title: Synthese
Publisher: Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Official URL: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-01...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s11229-014-0447-9
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology and Archaeology
General Issues > Ethical Issues
General Issues > Feminist Approaches
Specific Sciences > Medicine
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: September 2014
ISSN: 1573-0964
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11036

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