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

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Non-Epistemic Values, Scientific Practice, and Political Legitimacy

One line of defense of a value free ideal for scientific practice suggests democratic societies have good moral and political reasons arising from reasonable pluralism to keep policy relevant scientific practice value-neutral. This article fleshes out this suggestion by tying it to the Rawlsian idea of public reason, and then appeals to aims approaches to values and science to show that two proposed ways of keeping scientific practice value-neutral fail. Drawing upon criticisms of public reason from political philosophy and the theory of cultural cognition, the article suggests how value-laden scientific practice can respect democratic principles.

Author Information:

Paul Franco    
Philosophy
University of Washington-Seattle

 

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