Ethics, Policy and Environment 22 (1):90-99 (2019)

Klemens Kappel
University of Copenhagen
ABSTRACTThe purpose of this paper is to discuss Miller’s recent claim that 1) the ideal of value-freedom is implausible because evidence from experimental psychology reveals how scientific reasoning is value-laden and biased, and 2) that the ideal of value-freedom requires the exercise of complex conceptual distinctions that scientists cannot make. According to Miller, the ideal of value-freedom, therefore, violates the principle that ought implies can. The paper replies 1) that experimental psychology may show that science is value-laden in some sense, yet this does not imply that the ideal of value-freedom should be rejected as unachievable. This is because scientists can reduce the influence from non-epistemic values, inter alia, by employing debiasing techniques and other scientific procedures. The paper also replies that 2) the ideal of value-freedom in science does not violate the principle that ought implies can because scientists do not seem to need a philosophical vocabulary in order to make the relevant distinctions between different epistemic attitudes.
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DOI 10.1080/21550085.2019.1581414
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Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal.Heather Douglas - 2009 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
The Scientist Qua Scientist Makes Value Judgments.Richard Rudner - 1953 - Philosophy of Science 20 (1):1-6.
Inductive Risk and Values in Science.Heather Douglas - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (4):559-579.

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