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

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Exploring the Moral Terrain of Science Around Flint, Michigan

In this paper, I argue that descriptions of science’s responsibilities provided by Heather Douglas’ Moral Terrain of Science are incomplete. This is because one key element of her analysis – the bases of scientific responsibility – cannot describe the moral terrain surrounding the interactions between science and the residents of Flint, Michigan. Thus, I argue that Douglas’ account lacks sensitivity to the local contexts in which science is practiced and so fails to provide us with the full articulation of the responsibilities that science and its sub-groups may have when engaged with localized collectives within society. Thus, Douglas’ analysis must be amended to be more flexible and applicable to the local and specific contexts in which serious moral considerations arise in the course of scientific practice.

Author Information:

Jon Rosenberg    
University of Washington


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