The constitutive values of Science
Keywords:Cognitive values, control of nature, value-free science
Cognitive values are the charactenstics that are constitutive of "good" theories, the criteria to which we appeal when choosing among compeang theories. I argue that, in order to count as a cognitive value, a characteristic must be needed to expiam actually made theory choices, and its cognitive significance must be well defended espectally in view of considerations derived from the objective of science. A number of proposed objectives of science are entertained, and it is argued that adopting a particular objective is dialectically intertwined with commitment to certain social values. Then, the ways in which science is, and is not value free is explored briefly, leading to the identification of a level of analysis where values may influence theory choice without causing paradox or threatening the impartiality of soundly-made scientific judgments.
Copyright (c) 2021 Hugh Lacey
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