The economics of happiness is an influential research programme, the aim of which is to change welfare economics radically. In this paper I set out to show that its foundations are unreliable. I shall maintain two basic theses: (a) the economics of happiness shows inconsistencies with the first person standpoint, contrary claims on the part of the economists of happiness notwithstanding, and (b) happiness is a dubious concept if it is understood as the goal of welfare policies. These two theses (...) are closely related and lead to a third thesis: (c) happiness should be replaced by autonomy as the fundamental goal of welfare economics. To defend my claims I shall show that a hedonic approach to happiness leads to an awkward trilemma. Furthermore, I shall clarify the meaning of and , along with their conceptual relationships. (shrink)
This monograph examines the relationship between science and democracy. The author argues that there is no clear-cut division between science and the rest of society. Rather, scientists and laypeople form a single community of inquiry, which aims at the truth. To defend his theory, the author shows that science and society are both heterogeneous and fragmented. They display variable and shifting alliances between components. He also explains how information flow between science and society is bi-directional through “transactional” processes. In other (...) words, science and society mutually define themselves. The author also explains how science is both objective and laden with values. Coverage includes a wide range of topics, such as: the ideal of value-free science, the is/ought divide, “thick terms” and the language of science, inductive risk, the dichotomy between pure science and applied science, constructivism and the philosophy of risk. It also looks at the concepts of truth and objectivity, the autonomy of science, moral and social inquiry, perfectionism and democracy, and the role of experts in democratic societies. The style is philosophical, but the book features many examples and case-studies. It will appeal to philosophers of science, those in science and technology studies as well as interested general readers. (shrink)
More than many other Austrians, Mises tried to found aprioristic methodology on a well defined and developed epistemology. Although references to Kant are scattered rather unsystematically throughout his works, he nevertheless used an unequivocal Kantian terminology. He explicitly defended the existence of ‘a priori knowledge’, ‘synthetic a priori propositions’, ‘the category of action’, and so forth.
In this article we develop a pragmatist-inspired notion of intelligence that should lead to a better understanding of the notion of scientific expertise. The notion of intelligence is drawn from Dewey and is therefore used here in its technical sense. Our thesis is that scientific knowledge is a necessary but not sufficient condition for scientific expertise; intelligence should also be added. Conceived of as the capacity to apply general knowledge to particulars, we reach the conclusion that intelligence is a necessary (...) requirement for scientific experts in the wake of Dewey’s logic of inquiry. In particular, we argue that an all-important task that scientific experts are asked to accomplish, and which puts their expertise to the test, is to transform indeterminate situations into problematic situations, and that such a goal can only be achieved if scientific experts succeed in paying attention to all the contingent and precarious aspects that make the situation they face unique. (shrink)
La filosofia della scienza ha da sempre avuto il compito di gettare un ponte tra la cultura scientifica e la cultura umanistica. Tuttavia, negli ultimi decenni si è notato un fenomeno che non si concilia facilmente con il compito che le viene attribuito. Ci riferiamo alla sua crescente frammentazione. Il libro vuole fare il punto della situazione grazie agli interventi di oltre quindici filosofi della scienza italiani che hanno svolto ricerche specialistiche nei più svariati campi scientifici.
The relationship between science and democracy has become a much-debated issue. In recent years, we have even seen an exponential growth in literature on the subject. No doubt, the interest has partly been justified by the concern of public opinion over the technological repercussions of scientific research. Moreover, there are scientific theories that, if they were accepted, would allegedly imply the adoption of policies that have wide social consequences, as well as a rethinking of deeply-rooted habits on the part of (...) the citizens. These considerations alone allow us to understand the reasons for the interest in the, at times troublesome, relationships between science and public opinion which characterize democratic societies. (shrink)
Nell’Ottocento era comune considerare il bello, il buono e il vero come i valori costitutivi della scienza. Oggi si sta facendo strada la tesi che i fatti e i valori siano connessi e che la bellezza sia una proprietà richiesta dagli scienziati per accettare una teoria. In termini più generali si afferma che il bello, il buono e il vero sono tutti elementi essenziali per comprendere le attività che caratterizzano la scienza. Si tratta di questioni importanti culturalmente e politicamente. Capirle (...) sino in fondo significa comprendere la natura della scienza e il suo ruolo nel mondo d’oggi. (shrink)
Questo saggio illustra il dibattito sui rapporti tra scienza e democrazia oscilla tra la tesi di una loro “armonia” e di un inevitabile “conflitto”. Per i difensori dell’armonia, tra scienza e democrazia vi è un rapporto di implicazione reciproca: la crescita della conoscenza scientifica richiede la libertà tipica delle democrazie. Per i sostenitori del loro inevitabile conflitto, invece, il progresso civile potrebbe avvenire solo denunciando il non riconosciuto autoritarismo della scienza. Tra questi estremi, sono molte le visioni più sfumate della (...) relazione tra società democratiche e ricerca scientifica. (shrink)
In this paper the relationship between Gaia theory and fact/value dualism must be understood from two angles: I shall use Gaia as a case study to show the philosophical limits of dualism, and I shall also use the discussion of fact/value dualism to clarify the contents of Gaia theory. My basic thesis is that Lovelock is right when rejecting the suggestion that he should clear his theory of evaluative considerations. He is right because in his theory facts and moral values (...) are strictly interwoven and therefore cannot be conceptually separated. I shall show this point by arguing that if we dropped the evaluative components from Gaia theory we would not have the same theory cleared of those evaluative components. Instead we would have a theory with a different empirical meaning and different explanatory characteristics. (shrink)
The paper analyses the development of some themes in the contemporary philosophy of science in Italy. Section 1 reviews the dabate on the legacy of neopositivism. The spread of the philosophy of Popper is outlined in Section 2, with particular regard to the problem of the vindication of induction. Section 3 deals with the debate on the incommensurability thesis, while Section 4 examines its consequences on the possible relationships between historical and epistemological studies of science. The last section is devoted (...) to one of the most recent trends in the Italian philosophy of science: the resumption of Aristotelian dialectics. (shrink)