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On "Value-Laden" Science

Ward, Zina (2021) On "Value-Laden" Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 85. pp. 54-62.


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Philosophical work on values in science is held back by widespread ambiguity about how values bear on scientific choices. Here, I disambiguate several ways in which a choice can be value-laden and show that this disambiguation has the potential to solve and dissolve philosophical problems about values in science. First, I characterize four ways in which values relate to choices: values can motivate, justify, cause, or be impacted by the choices we make. Next, I put my proposed taxonomy to work, using it to clarify one version of the argument from inductive risk. The claim that non-epistemic values must play a role in scientific choices that run inductive risk makes most sense as a claim about values being needed to justify such choices. The argument from inductive risk is not unique: many philosophical arguments about values in science can be more clearly understood and assessed by paying close attention to how values and choices are related.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Ward, Zina0000-0003-0160-6656
Keywords: values; values in science; argument from inductive risk; motivating reasons; justifying reasons
Subjects: General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Zina B. Ward
Date Deposited: 11 May 2021 03:56
Last Modified: 11 May 2021 03:56
Item ID: 19000
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Official URL:
Subjects: General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2021
Page Range: pp. 54-62
Volume: 85

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