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

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A Taxonomy of Wishful Thinking

Wishful thinking is frequently understood in epistemic terms, i.e., as non-epistemic values playing some kind of illegitimate role in arriving at a conclusion. In this talk, we argue that the problems with many apparent cases of “wishful thinking” can be more fruitfully analyzed by identifying political aspects that are independent of the epistemological issues. Attention to these political aspects of wishful thinking highlights the fact that the hazards in many cases of apparent wishful thinking are only indirectly or ambiguously epistemic.

Author Information:

Daniel Hicks    
Science and Technology Policy Fellow

Kevin Elliott    
Lyman Briggs College & Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife & Dept. of Philosophy
Michigan State University


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