PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Who is Afraid of Scientific Imperialism?

In recent years, several authors debated about the justifiability of scientific imperialism, the systematic application of a discipline’s findings and methods to model and explain phenomena investigated by other disciplines. To date, however, widespread disagreement remains regarding both the identification and the normative evaluation of scientific imperialism. In this paper, I aim to remedy this situation by articulating an informative characterization of scientific imperialism and by providing a normative evaluation of the most prominent objections to scientific imperialism. I shall argue that these objections provide a basis for opposing some instances of scientific imperialism, but do not yield any cogent reason to think that scientific imperialism is inherently objectionable or unjustified. I then highlight this result’s implications for the ongoing philosophical debate about the justifiability of scientific imperialism.

Author Information:

Roberto Fumagalli    
Philosophy
University of Bayreuth; London School of Economics; University of Pennsylvania

 

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