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Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal

University of Pittsburgh Press (2009)

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  1. Non-epistemic values and scientific assessment: an adequacy-for-purpose view.Greg Lusk & Kevin C. Elliott - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (2):1-22.
    The literature on values in science struggles with questions about how to describe and manage the role of values in scientific research. We argue that progress can be made by shifting this literature’s current emphasis. Rather than arguing about how non-epistemic values can or should figure into scientific assessment, we suggest analyzing how scientific assessment can accommodate non-epistemic values. For scientific assessment to do so, it arguably needs to incorporate goals that have been traditionally characterized as non-epistemic. Building on this (...)
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  • Rebuttal to Douglas and Elliott.Robert Hudson - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 53 (2):211-216.
    In “Should We Strive to Make Science Bias‑Free? A Philosophical Assessment of the Reproducibility Crisis”, I argue that the problem of bias in science, a key factor in the current reproducibility crisis, is worsened if we follow Heather Douglas and Kevin C. Elliott’s advice and introduce non-epistemic values into the evidential assessment of scientific hypotheses. In their response to my paper, Douglas and Elliott complain that I misrepresent their views and fall victim to various confusions. In this rebuttal I argue, (...)
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  • Addressing the Reproducibility Crisis: A Response to Hudson.Heather Douglas & Kevin C. Elliott - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 53 (2):201-209.
    In this response to Robert Hudson’s article, “Should We Strive to Make Science Bias-Free? A Philosophical Assessment of the Reproducibility Crisis,” we identify three ways in which he misrepresents our work: he conflates value-ladenness with bias; he describes our view as one in which values are the same as evidential factors; and he creates a false dichotomy between two ways that values could be considered in science for policy. We share Hudson’s concerns about promoting scientific reproducibility and reducing bias in (...)
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  • Treatment Effectiveness and the Russo–Williamson Thesis, EBM+, and Bradford Hill's Viewpoints.Steven Tresker - 2022 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 34 (3):131-158.
    Establishing the effectiveness of medical treatments is one of the most important aspects of medical practice. Bradford Hill's viewpoints play an important role in inferring causality in medicine,...
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  • Ethical Evidence.Steven Diggin - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-24.
    This paper argues that ethical propositions can legitimately be used as evidence for and against empirical conclusions. Specifically, I argue that this thesis is entailed by several uncontroversial assumptions about ethical metaphysics and epistemology. I also outline several examples of ethical-to-empirical inferences where it is extremely plausible that one can rationally rely upon their ethical evidence in order to gain a justified belief in an empirical conclusion. The main upshot is that ethical propositions can, under perfectly standard conditions, play both (...)
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  • What We (Should) Talk About When We Talk About Fruitfulness.Silvia Ivani - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):4.
    What are the relevant values to the appraisal of research programs? This question remains hotly debated, as philosophers have recently proposed many lists of values potentially relevant to scientific appraisal. Surprisingly, despite being mentioned in many lists, little attention has been paid to fruitfulness. It is unclear how fruitfulness should be explicated, and whether it has any substantial role in scientific appraisal. In this paper, I argue we should explicate fruitfulness as the capacity to develop of research programs. Moreover, I (...)
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  • Master and Slave: the Dialectic of Human-Artificial Intelligence Engagement.Tae Wan Kim, Fabrizio Maimone, Katherina Pattit, Alejo José Sison & Benito Teehankee - 2021 - Humanistic Management Journal 6 (3):355-371.
    The massive introduction of artificial intelligence has triggered significant societal concerns, ranging from “technological unemployment” and the dominance of algorithms in the work place and in everyday life, among others. While AI is made by humans and is, therefore, dependent on the latter for its purpose, the increasing capabilities of AI to carry out productive activities for humans can lead the latter to unwitting slavish existence. This has become evident, for example, in the area of social media use, where AI (...)
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  • Wherein is the Concept of Disease Normative? From Weak Normativity to Value-Conscious Naturalism.M. Cristina Amoretti & Elisabetta Lalumera - 2021 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 25 (1):1-14.
    In this paper we focus on some new normativist positions and compare them with traditional ones. In so doing, we claim that if normative judgments are involved in determining whether a condition is a disease only in the sense identified by new normativisms, then disease is normative only in a weak sense, which must be distinguished from the strong sense advocated by traditional normativisms. Specifically, we argue that weak and strong normativity are different to the point that one ‘normativist’ label (...)
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  • The Cyclical Return of the IQ Controversy: Revisiting the Lessons of the Resolution on Genetics, Race and Intelligence.Davide Serpico - 2021 - Journal of the History of Biology 54 (2):199-228.
    In 1976, the Genetics Society of America published a document entitled “Resolution of Genetics, Race, and Intelligence.” This document laid out the Society’s position in the IQ controversy, particularly that on scientific and ethical questions involving the genetics of intellectual differences between human populations. Since the GSA was the largest scientific society of geneticists in the world, many expected the document to be of central importance in settling the controversy. Unfortunately, the Resolution had surprisingly little influence on the discussion. In (...)
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  • Place of Birth: Ethics and Evidence.Leah McClimans - 2017 - Topoi 36 (3):531-538.
    In the US and UK Births in obstetric units vastly outnumber births that take place outside of an obstetric unit. Still non-obstetric births are increasing in both countries. Is it professionally responsible to support a non-obstetric birth? It is morally responsible to choose to give birth at home? This debate has become heated with those on both sides finding empirical support for their positions. Indeed this moral debate is often carried out in terms of empirical evidence. While to some this (...)
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  • The Social Epistemology of Consensus and Dissent.Boaz Miller - 2019 - In David Henderson, Peter Graham, Miranda Fricker & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Social Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 228-237.
    This paper reviews current debates in social epistemology about the relations ‎between ‎knowledge ‎and consensus. These relations are philosophically interesting on their ‎own, but ‎also have ‎practical consequences, as consensus takes an increasingly significant ‎role in ‎informing public ‎decision making. The paper addresses the following questions. ‎When is a ‎consensus attributable to an epistemic community? Under what conditions may ‎we ‎legitimately infer that a consensual view is knowledge-based or otherwise ‎epistemically ‎justified? Should consensus be the aim of scientific inquiry, and (...)
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  • Objectivity in Science: New Perspectives From Science and Technology Studies.Flavia Padovani, Alan Richardson & Jonathan Y. Tsou (eds.) - 2015 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, vol. 310. Springer.
    This highly multidisciplinary collection discusses an increasingly important topic among scholars in science and technology studies: objectivity in science. It features eleven essays on scientific objectivity from a variety of perspectives, including philosophy of science, history of science, and feminist philosophy. Topics addressed in the book include the nature and value of scientific objectivity, the history of objectivity, and objectivity in scientific journals and communities. Taken individually, the essays supply new methodological tools for theorizing what is valuable in the pursuit (...)
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  • Rationality in Context: Regulatory Science and the Best Scientific Method.José Luis Luján & Oliver Todt - 2022 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 47 (5):1086-1108.
    Is there such a thing as a “best scientific methodology” in regulatory science? By examining cases from varying regulatory processes, we argue that there is no best scientific method for generating decision-relevant data. In addition, in regulatory science, the most suitable methodologies often differ from what is considered best practice in knowledge-oriented science. In data generation for regulatory purposes, we are faced with a wide spectrum of preferred methodologies as well as controversy as to methodological choice. What goes by the (...)
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  • Emergence of the Post-Truth Situation: Its Sources and Contexts.Miroslav Vacura - 2020 - Disputatio 9 (13).
    We often encounter the term “post-truth situation” in quite different contexts. This paper compares existing approaches to the term, reviewing sources of this notion in different domains and fundametally identifying its conceptual core. The starting point is the analysis of the recent transformation of the relationship between scientific fact and the political sphere and the change of the role of experts in relationship to society. The next section focuses on the role of digital and especially social media in the emergence (...)
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  • On the Suppression of Medical Evidence.Alexander Christian - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (3):395-418.
    Financial conflicts of interest in medical research foster deviations from research standards and evidentially lead to the suppression of research findings that are at odds with commercial interests of pharmaceutical companies. Questionable research practices prevent data from being created, made available, or given suitable recognition. They run counter to codified principles of responsible conduct of research, such as honesty, openness or respect for the law. Resulting in ignorance, misrepresentation and suspension of scientific self-correction, suppression of medical evidence in its various (...)
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  • My Objectivity is Better Than Yours: Contextualising Debates About Gender Inequality.Rosie Worsdale & Jack Wright - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1659-1683.
    AbsractIn this paper, we contribute to a growing literature in the philosophy of social science cautioning social scientists against context-independent claims to objectivity, by analyzing the recent proposal of a new Basic Index of Gender Inequality by Gijsbert Stoet and David Geary. Despite the many internal problems with BIGI, Stoet and Geary have had some success in positioning the index as an important corrective to the way in which gender inequality is measured in mainstream metrics like the Global Gender Gap (...)
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  • Causal Reasoning and Clinical Practice: Challenges From Molecular Biology.Giovanni Boniolo & Raffaella Campaner - 2019 - Topoi 38 (2):423-435.
    Not only has the philosophical debate on causation been gaining ground in the last few decades, but it has also increasingly addressed the sciences. The biomedical sciences are among the most prominent fields that have been considered, with a number of works tackling the understanding of the notion of cause, the assessment of genuinely causal relations and the use of causal knowledge in applied contexts. Far from denying the merits of the debate on causation and the major theories it comprises, (...)
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  • Special Issue: Philosophical Considerations in the Teaching of Biology. Part I, Philosophy of Biology and Biological Explanation.Kostas Kampourakis (ed.) - 2013 - Springer (Science & Education).
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  • A Philosophical Analysis of the Recent Controversy About “Islamo-Leftism” in French Academia.Philippe Stamenkovic - 2022 - Ruch Filozoficzny 77 (4):153-173.
    In February 2021, the French Minister of Higher Education and Research, Frédérique Vidal, ordered an inquiry – to be led by the French National Centre for Scientific Research – about the alleged “Islamo-leftism” which, according to her, was corrupting French academia. Vidal's concern was, purportedly, to distinguish “what falls under academic research and what falls under militancy and opinion”. She had in mind, in particular, recent interdisciplinary fields in the social sciences, such as Postcolonial Studies. Her statements caused a controversy (...)
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  • Diversifying science: comparing the benefits of citizen science with the benefits of bringing more women into science.S. Andrew Schroeder - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-20.
    I compare two different arguments for the importance of bringing new voices into science: arguments for increasing the representation of women, and arguments for the inclusion of the public, or for “citizen science”. I suggest that in each case, diversifying science can improve the quality of scientific results in three distinct ways: epistemically, ethically, and politically. In the first two respects, the mechanisms are essentially the same. In the third respect, the mechanisms are importantly different. Though this might appear to (...)
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  • Values in Time Discounting.Conrad Heilmann - 2017 - Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (5):1333-1349.
    Controversies about time discounting loom large in decisions about climate change. Prominently, a particularly controversial debate about time discounting in climate change decision-making has been conducted within climate economics, between the authors of Stern et al. and their critics :977–981, 2006; Weitzman in J Econ Lit XLV:703–724, 2007; Nordhaus in J Econ Lit XLV:686–702, 2007). The article examines the role of values in this debate. Firstly, it is shown that time discounting is a case in which values are key because (...)
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  • Transparency, Values and Trust in Science.Konstantina Antiochou & Stathis Psillos - 2022 - Ruch Filozoficzny 77 (4):73-94.
    Current debates over inductive risk and the role of values in science have largely revolved around the question of the moral responsibilities of scientists: Do scientists have the duty to consider the potential non-epistemic consequences of theories they advocate and, if yes, what values should be taken into account in decision-making? The paper discusses two different – though potentially complementary – responses to this question: a) H. Douglas’s view that scientists should avoid causing reckless or negligent harm to others as (...)
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  • Who Is a Good Data Scientist? A Reply to Curzer and Epstein.Mark Graves & Emanuele Ratti - 2022 - Philosophy and Technology 35 (2):1-5.
  • Measuring Information Deprivation: A Democratic Proposal.Adrian K. Yee - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    There remains no consensus among social scientists as to how to measure and understand forms of information deprivation such as misinformation. Machine learning and statistical analyses of information deprivation typically contain problematic operationalizations which are too often biased towards epistemic elites' conceptions that can undermine their empirical adequacy. A mature science of information deprivation should include considerable citizen involvement that is sensitive to the value-ladenness of information quality and that doing so may improve the predictive and explanatory power of extant (...)
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  • Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2003 - University of Chicago Press.
    How does science work? Does it tell us what the world is "really" like? What makes it different from other ways of understanding the universe? In Theory and Reality , Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the reader on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science. The result is a completely accessible introduction to the main themes of the philosophy of science. Intended for undergraduates and general readers with no prior background in philosophy, Theory and (...)
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  • What’s so Special About Empirical Adequacy?Sindhuja Bhakthavatsalam & Nancy Cartwright - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (3):445-465.
    Empirical adequacy matters directly - as it does for antirealists - if we aim to get all or most of the observable facts right, or indirectly - as it does for realists - as a symptom that the claims we make about the theoretical facts are right. But why should getting the facts - either theoretical or empirical - right be required of an acceptable theory? Here we endorse two other jobs that good theories are expected to do: helping us (...)
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  • Epistemic Justification in the Context of Pursuit: A Coherentist Approach.Dunja Šešelja & Christian Straßer - 2014 - Synthese 191 (13):3111-3141.
    The aim of this paper is to offer an account of epistemic justification suitable for the context of theory pursuit, that is, for the context in which new scientific ideas, possibly incompatible with the already established theories, emerge and are pursued by scientists. We will frame our account paradigmatically on the basis of one of the influential systems of epistemic justification: Laurence Bonjour’s coherence theory of justification. The idea underlying our approach is to develop a set of criteria which indicate (...)
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  • Objectivity and ‘First Philosophies’ [Chapter 1 of Objectivity].Guy Axtell - 2016 - In Objectivity. Cambridge UK; Malden MA: Polity Press; Wiley. pp. 19-45.
    Interest in the concept of objectivity is part of the legacy of Modern Philosophy, tracing back to a new way of understanding the starting point of philosophical reflection. It traces back to an “epistemological turn” that attended the development of New Science of the 16th and 17th Century. These origins are an indication that what a thinker takes as the starting point of philosophical reflection deeply affects how they approach key philosophical concepts, including truth, knowledge, and objectivity. Chapter 1 Introduces (...)
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  • Feminist Perspectives on Science.Alison Wylie, Elizabeth Potter & Wenda K. Bauchspies - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    **No longer the current version available on SEP; see revised version by Sharon Crasnow** -/- Feminists have a number of distinct interests in, and perspectives on, science. The tools of science have been a crucial resource for understanding the nature, impact, and prospects for changing gender-based forms of oppression; in this spirit, feminists actively draw on, and contribute to, the research programs of a wide range of sciences. At the same time, feminists have identified the sciences as a source as (...)
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  • The Social Dimensions of Scientific Knowledge.Helen Longino - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Scientific Method.Brian Hepburn & Hanne Andersen - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    1. Overview and organizing themes 2. Historical Review: Aristotle to Mill 3. Logic of method and critical responses 3.1 Logical constructionism and Operationalism 3.2. H-D as a logic of confirmation 3.3. Popper and falsificationism 3.4 Meta-methodology and the end of method 4. Statistical methods for hypothesis testing 5. Method in Practice 5.1 Creative and exploratory practices 5.2 Computer methods and the ‘third way’ of doing science 6. Discourse on scientific method 6.1 “The scientific method” in science education and as seen (...)
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  • Scientific Pluralism.Ludwig David & Ruphy Stéphanie - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Inductive Risk: Does It Really Refute Value-Freedom?Markus Dressel - 2022 - Theoria 37 (2):181-207.
    The argument from inductive risk is considered to be one of the strongest challenges for value-free science. A great part of its appeal lies in the idea that even an ideal epistemic agent—the “perfect scientist” or “scientist qua scientist”—cannot escape inductive risk. In this paper, I scrutinize this ambition by stipulating an idealized Bayesian decision setting. I argue that inductive risk does not show that the “perfect scientist” must, descriptively speaking, make non-epistemic value-judgements, at least not in a way that (...)
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  • What Does Good Science-Based Advice to Politics Look Like?Martin Carrier - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 53 (1):5-21.
    I address options for providing scientific policy advice and explore the relation between scientific knowledge and political, economic and moral values. I argue that such nonepistemic values are essential for establishing the significance of questions and the relevance of evidence, while, on the other hand, such social choices are the prerogative of society. This tension can be resolved by recognizing social values and identifying them as separate premises or as commissions while withholding commitment to them, and by elaborating a plurality (...)
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  • Self-Fulfilling Science.Charles Lowe - 2021 - Berlin: De Gruyter.
    Claims that science may become 'self-fulfilling' through its impact on objects of study have recently risen to prominence. Despite radical statements about the supposed consequences of such accounts, however, the central notion of scientific self-fulfillment has remained obscure, leading to skewed views of its actual prevalence and significance. -/- Self-Fulfilling Science illuminates this underexplored phenomenon, drawing on insights from philosophy of science to address questions of its conceptualization, prevalence, and significance. The book critically engages with the popular notion that economic (...)
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  • Philosophy of Psychiatry.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Jonathan Y. Tsou examines and defends positions on central issues in philosophy of psychiatry. The positions defended assume a naturalistic and realist perspective and are framed against skeptical perspectives on biological psychiatry. Issues addressed include the reality of mental disorders; mechanistic and disease explanations of abnormal behavior; definitions of mental disorder; natural and artificial kinds in psychiatry; biological essentialism and the projectability of psychiatric categories; looping effects and the stability of mental disorders; psychiatric classification; and the validity of the DSM's (...)
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  • The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread.Cailin O'Connor & James Owen Weatherall - 2019 - New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press.
    "Why should we care about having true beliefs? And why do demonstrably false beliefs persist and spread despite consequences for the people who hold them? Philosophers of science Cailin O’Connor and James Weatherall argue that social factors, rather than individual psychology, are what’s essential to understanding the spread and persistence of false belief. It might seem that there’s an obvious reason that true beliefs matter: false beliefs will hurt you. But if that’s right, then why is it irrelevant to many (...)
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  • Computer Simulations in Science and Engineering. Concept, Practices, Perspectives.Juan Manuel Durán - 2018 - Springer.
    This book addresses key conceptual issues relating to the modern scientific and engineering use of computer simulations. It analyses a broad set of questions, from the nature of computer simulations to their epistemological power, including the many scientific, social and ethics implications of using computer simulations. The book is written in an easily accessible narrative, one that weaves together philosophical questions and scientific technicalities. It will thus appeal equally to all academic scientists, engineers, and researchers in industry interested in questions (...)
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  • Shopping for experts.Gabriele Contessa - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-21.
    This paper explores the socio-epistemic practice of shopping for experts. I argue that expert shopping is particularly likely to occur on what Thi Nguyen calls cognitive islands. To support my argument, I focus on macroeconomics. First, I make a prima-facie case for thinking that macroeconomics is a cognitive island. Then, I argue that ordinary people are particularly likely to engage in expert shopping when it comes to macroeconomic matters. In particular, I distinguish between two kinds of expert shopping, which I (...)
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  • Do the Numbers Speak for Themselves? A Critical Analysis of Procedural Objectivity in Psychotherapeutic Efficacy Research.Femke L. Truijens - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4721-4740.
    Psychotherapy research is known for its pursuit of evidence-based treatment. Psychotherapeutic efficacy is assessed by calculation of aggregated differences between pre treatment- and post treatment symptom levels. As this ‘gold standard methodology’ is regarded as ‘procedurally objective’, the efficacy number that results from the procedure is taken as a valid indicator of treatment efficacy. However, I argue that the assumption of procedural objectivity is not justified, as the methodology is build upon a problematic numerical basis. I use an empirical case (...)
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  • From epistemology to policy: reorienting philosophy courses for science students.Mark Thomas Young - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (2):1-14.
    Philosophy of science has traditionally focused on the epistemological dimensions of scientific practice at the expense of the ethical and political questions scientists encounter when addressing questions of policy in advisory contexts. In this article, I will explore how an exclusive focus on epistemology and theoretical reason can function to reinforce common, yet flawed assumptions concerning the role of scientific knowledge in policy decision making when reproduced in philosophy courses for science students. In order to address this concern, I will (...)
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  • (Mis)Understanding Scientific Disagreement: Success Versus Pursuit-Worthiness in Theory Choice.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:166-175.
    Scientists often diverge widely when choosing between research programs. This can seem to be rooted in disagreements about which of several theories, competing to address shared questions or phenomena, is currently the most epistemically or explanatorily valuable—i.e. most successful. But many such cases are actually more directly rooted in differing judgments of pursuit-worthiness, concerning which theory will be best down the line, or which addresses the most significant data or questions. Using case studies from 16th-century astronomy and 20th-century geology and (...)
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  • Frameworks, Models, and Case Studies: A New Methodology for Studying Conceptual Change in Science and Philosophy.Matteo De Benedetto - 2022 - Dissertation, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
    This thesis focuses on models of conceptual change in science and philosophy. In particular, I developed a new bootstrapping methodology for studying conceptual change, centered around the formalization of several popular models of conceptual change and the collective assessment of their improved formal versions via nine evaluative dimensions. Among the models of conceptual change treated in the thesis are Carnap’s explication, Lakatos’ concept-stretching, Toulmin’s conceptual populations, Waismann’s open texture, Mark Wilson’s patches and facades, Sneed’s structuralism, and Paul Thagard’s conceptual revolutions. (...)
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  • Speaking Power to Truth: Digital Discourse and the Public Intellectual.Michael Keren & Richard Hawkins (eds.) - 2015 - Athabasca University Press‎.
    Online discourse has created a new media environment for contributions to public life, one that challenges the social significance of the role of public intellectuals—intellectuals who, whether by choice or by circumstance, offer commentary on issues of the day. The value of such commentary is rooted in the assumption that, by virtue of their training and experience, intellectuals possess knowledge—that they understand what constitutes knowledge with respect to a particular topic, are able to distinguish it from mere opinion, and are (...)
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  • Risk, Uncertainty and Precaution in Science: The Threshold of the Toxicological Concern Approach in Food Toxicology.Karim Bschir - 2017 - Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (2):489-508.
    Environmental risk assessment is often affected by severe uncertainty. The frequently invoked precautionary principle helps to guide risk assessment and decision-making in the face of scientific uncertainty. In many contexts, however, uncertainties play a role not only in the application of scientific models but also in their development. Building on recent literature in the philosophy of science, this paper argues that precaution should be exercised at the stage when tools for risk assessment are developed as well as when they are (...)
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  • Applying the notion of epistemic risk to argumentation in philosophy of science.Jaana Eigi-Watkin - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (2):1-18.
    I analyse an empirically informed argument in philosophy of science to show that it faces several varieties of risk commonly discussed as inductive risk. I argue that this is so even though the type of reasoning used in this argument differs from the reasoning in some of the arguments usually discussed in connection with inductive risk. To capture the variety of risks involved, I use the more general notion of epistemic risk proposed by Justin Biddle and Quill Kukla. I show (...)
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  • Theory Choice, Non-Epistemic Values, and Machine Learning.Ravit Dotan - 2020 - Synthese (11):1-21.
    I use a theorem from machine learning, called the “No Free Lunch” theorem to support the claim that non-epistemic values are essential to theory choice. I argue that NFL entails that predictive accuracy is insufficient to favor a given theory over others, and that NFL challenges our ability to give a purely epistemic justification for using other traditional epistemic virtues in theory choice. In addition, I argue that the natural way to overcome NFL’s challenge is to use non-epistemic values. If (...)
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  • Expert responsibility in AI development.Maria Hedlund & Erik Persson - forthcoming - AI and Society:1-12.
    The purpose of this paper is to discuss the responsibility of AI experts for guiding the development of AI in a desirable direction. More specifically, the aim is to answer the following research question: To what extent are AI experts responsible in a forward-looking way for effects of AI technology that go beyond the immediate concerns of the programmer or designer? AI experts, in this paper conceptualised as experts regarding the technological aspects of AI, have knowledge and control of AI (...)
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  • Science Advice: Making Credences Accurate.Simon Blessenohl & Deniz Sarikaya - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    Policy-makers often rely on scientists to inform their decisions. When advising policy-makers, what should scientists say? One view says that scientists ought to say what they have a high credence in. Another view says that scientists ought to say what they expect to lead to good policy outcomes. We explore a third view: scientists ought to say what they expect to make the policy-makers’ credences accurate.
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  • Science, responsibility, and the philosophical imagination.Matthew Sample - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-19.
    If we cannot define science using only analysis or description, then we must rely on imagination to provide us with suitable objects of philosophical inquiry. This process ties our intellectual findings to the particular ways in which we philosophers think about scientific practice and carve out a cognitive space between real world practice and conceptual abstraction. As an example, I consider Heather Douglas’s work on the responsibilities of scientists and document her implicit ideal of science, defined primarily as an epistemic (...)
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