Objectivity, Historicity, Taxonomy

Erkenntnis 83 (3):445-463 (2018)
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Abstract

In Objectivity, Daston and Galison argue that scientific objectivity has a history. Objectivity emerged as a distinct nineteenth-century “epistemic virtue,” flanked in time by other epistemic virtues. The authors trace the origins of scientific objectivity by identifying changes in images from scientific atlases from different periods, but they emphasize that the same history could be narrated using different sorts of scientific objects. One could, for example, focus on the changing uses of “type specimens” in biological taxonomy. Daston :153–182, 2004) indeed provides a detailed account of the history of the type specimen which purports to show this. I argue that this attempt hinges on a conceptual confusion and therefore fails. I show that the actual history of the type specimen does not reinforce the account of epistemic virtues from Objectivity, but rather threatens to subvert it.

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Author's Profile

Joeri Witteveen
University of Copenhagen

References found in this work

The meaning of 'meaning'.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
Objectivity.Lorraine Daston & Peter Galison - 2007 - Cambridge, Mass.: Zone Books. Edited by Peter Galison.
Is Water H2O? Evidence, Realism and Pluralism.Hasok Chang - 2012 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science.
Uber Sinn und Bedeutung.Gottlob Frege - 1892 - Zeitschrift für Philosophie Und Philosophische Kritik 100 (1):25-50.

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