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Douglas, Heather. Inductive Risk and Values in Science
2000, Philosophy of Science 67(4): 559-579.
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Added by: Nick Novelli
Abstract: Although epistemic values have become widely accepted as part of scientific reasoning, non-epistemic values have been largely relegated to the "external" parts of science (the selection of hypotheses, restrictions on methodologies, and the use of scientific technologies). I argue that because of inductive risk, or the risk of error, non-epistemic values are required in science wherever non-epistemic consequences of error should be considered. I use examples from dioxin studies to illustrate how non-epistemic consequences of error can and should be considered in the internal stages of science: choice of methodology, characterization of data, and interpretation of results.

Comment: A good challenge to the "value-free" status of science, interrogating some of the assumptions about scientific methodology. Uses real-world examples effectively. Suitable for undergraduate teaching.

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Douglas, Heather. Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal
2009, University of Pittsburgh Press.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Patricia Rich

Publisher's Note: The role of science in policymaking has gained unprecedented stature in the United States, raising questions about the place of science and scientific expertise in the democratic process. Some scientists have been given considerable epistemic authority in shaping policy on issues of great moral and cultural significance, and the politicizing of these issues has become highly contentious.

Since World War II, most philosophers of science have purported the concept that science should be “value-free.” In Science, Policy and the Value-Free Ideal, Heather E. Douglas argues that such an ideal is neither adequate nor desirable for science. She contends that the moral responsibilities of scientists require the consideration of values even at the heart of science. She lobbies for a new ideal in which values serve an essential function throughout scientific inquiry, but where the role values play is constrained at key points, thus protecting the integrity and objectivity of science. In this vein, Douglas outlines a system for the application of values to guide scientists through points of uncertainty fraught with moral valence.

Following a philosophical analysis of the historical background of science advising and the value-free ideal, Douglas defines how values should-and should not-function in science. She discusses the distinctive direct and indirect roles for values in reasoning, and outlines seven senses of objectivity, showing how each can be employed to determine the reliability of scientific claims. Douglas then uses these philosophical insights to clarify the distinction between junk science and sound science to be used in policymaking. In conclusion, she calls for greater openness on the values utilized in policymaking, and more public participation in the policymaking process, by suggesting various models for effective use of both the public and experts in key risk assessments.

Comment: Chapter 5, 'The structure of values in science', is a good introduction to the topic of the role of values in science, while defending a particular perspective. Basic familiarity with philosophy of science or science itself should be enough to understand and engage with it.

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Douglas, Heather. Values in Social Science
2014, In: Philosophy of Social Science A New Introduction. Edited by Nancy Cartwright and Eleonora Montuschi
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Karoline Paier

Introduction: The social sciences have long had an inferiority complex. Because the social sciences emerged as distinct disciplines after the natural sciences, comparisons between the mature and successful natural sciences and the fledgling social sciences were quickly made. One of the primary concerns that arose was over the role of values in the social sciences. There were several reasons for this. First, the social sciences did not have the clear empirical successes that the natural sciences did in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to bolster confidence in their reliability. Some postulated that an undue influence of values on the social sciences contributed to this deficit of empirical success. Second, social sciences such as economics and psychology emerged from their philosophical precursors gradually and often carried with them the clear normative trappings of their disciplinary origins. Third, although formal rules on the treatment of human subjects would not emerge until the second half of the twentieth century, by the time the social sciences emerged, it was obvious there were both ethical and epistemic challenges to experimenting on human subjects and human communities. Controlled settings were (and are) often difficult to achieve (or are unethical to achieve), making clear empirical success even more elusive. Finally, there is the additional com-plication that social sciences invariably study and/or comment upon human values. All of these considerations lent credence to the view that social sciences were inevitably more value-laden, and as a result less reliable, than the natural sciences.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Drewery, Alice. Essentialism and the Necessity of the Laws of Nature
2005, Synthese 144(3): 381-396.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez
Abstract: In this paper the author discusses and evaluates different arguments for the view that the laws of nature are metaphysically necessary. She conclude that essentialist arguments from the nature of natural kinds fail to establish that essences are ontologically more basic than laws, and fail to offer an a priori argument for the necessity of all causal laws. Similar considerations carry across to the argument from the dispositionalist view of properties, which may end up placing unreasonable constraints on property identity across possible worlds. None of her arguments preclude the possibility that the laws may turn out to be metaphysically necessary after all, but she argues that this can only be established by a posteriori scientific investigation. She argues for what may seem to be a surprising conclusion: that a fundamental metaphysical question - the modal status of laws of nature - depends on empirical facts rather than purely on a priori reasoning.

Comment: An excellent paper that could serve as further or specialized reading for postgraduate courses in philosophy of science, in particular, for modules related to the study of the laws of nature. The paper offers an in-depth discussion of essentialist arguments, but also touches upon many other fundamental concepts such as grounding, natural kinds, dispositions and necessity.

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Duflo, Esther. Field Experiments in Development Economics
2006, Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Applications, Ninth World Congress (Econometric Society Monographs), R. Blundell, W. Newey, & T. Persson (eds.), 322-348
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Johanna Thoma
Abstract: There is a long tradition in development economics of collecting original data to test specific hypotheses. Over the last 10 years, this tradition has merged with an expertise in setting up randomized field experiments, resulting in an increasingly large number of studies where an original experiment has been set up to test economic theories and hypotheses. This paper extracts some substantive and methodological lessons from such studies in three domains: incentives, social learning, and time-inconsistent preferences. The paper argues that we need both to continue testing existing theories and to start thinking of how the theories may be adapted to make sense of the field experiment results, many of which are starting to challenge them. This new framework could then guide a new round of experiments.

Comment: Duflo, of the MIT Poverty Action Lab and recent Nobel Prize Winner, summarizes some of the successes of randomized field evaluations in development economics. She then argues that the way forward for development economics should indeed involve some theorizing, but theorizing on the basis of our new empirical evidence - which might end up looking quite different from standard economic theory. This is a very useful (opinionated) introduction to field experiments for a week on field experiments in a philosophy of economics or philosophy of the social sciences course.

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Elsamahi, Mohamed. A ctitique of localized realism
2005, Philosophy of Science 72(5): 1350-1360.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez
Abstract: In an attempt to avert Laudan's pessimistic induction, Worrall and Psillos introduce a narrower version of scientific realism. According to this version, which can be referred to as "localized realism", realists need not accept every component in a successful theory. They are supposed only to accept those components that led to the theory's empirical success. Consequently, realists can avoid believing in dubious entities like the caloric and ether. This paper examines and critiques localized realism. It also scrutinizes Psillos's historical study of the caloric theory of heat, which is intended to support localized realism.

Comment: Recommended as further reading for studying scientific realism and anti-realism. Preferable for postgraduate students since previous knowledge of theories in science helps to a better understanding of this article.

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Figdor, Carrie. Neuroscience and the multiple realization of cognitive functions
2010, Philosophy of Science 77 (3):419-456.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Carrie Figdor
Abstract: Article: Many empirically minded philosophers have used neuroscientific data to argue against the multiple realization of cognitive functions in existing biological organisms. I argue that neuroscientists themselves have proposed a biologically based concept of multiple realization as an alternative to interpreting empirical findings in terms of one-to-one structure/function mappings. I introduce this concept and its associated research framework and also how some of the main neuroscience-based arguments against multiple realization go wrong.

Comment: This is a direct reply to Bechtel and Mundale (1999) and I know some more aware people have paired it with that paper in the classroom. It's philosophy of neuroscience, philosophy of mind.

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Franklin, L. R.. Exploratory Experiments
2005, Philosophy of Science 72(5): 888-899.
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Added by: Nick Novelli
Abstract: Philosophers of experiment have acknowledged that experiments are often more than mere hypothesis-tests, once thought to be an experiment's exclusive calling. Drawing on examples from contemporary biology, I make an additional amendment to our understanding of experiment by examining the way that `wide' instrumentation can, for reasons of efficiency, lead scientists away from traditional hypothesis-directed methods of experimentation and towards exploratory methods.

Comment: Good exploration of the role of experiments, challenging the idea that they are solely useful for testing clearly defined hypotheses. Uses many practical examples, but is very concise and clear. Suitable for undergraduate teaching in an examination of scientific methods in a philosophy of science course.

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Gendler, Tamar Szabó. Galileo and the Indispensability of Scientific Thought Experiment
1998, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (3):397-424.
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist
Abstract: By carefully examining one of the most famous thought experiments in the history of science - that by which Galileo is said to have refuted the Aristotelian theory that heavier bodies fall faster than lighter ones - I attempt to show that thought experiments play a distinctive role in scientific inquiry. Reasoning about particular entities within the context of an imaginary scenario can lead to rationally justified concluusions that - given the same initial information - would not be rationally justifiable on the basis of a straightforward argument.

Comment: This paper would be a good to put as further reading in a week focusing on thought experiments. Suitable for a third year module.

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Harding, Sandra. The science question in feminism
1986, Ithaca, London: Cornell University Press
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Added by: Björn Freter

Publisher's Note: Can science, steeped in Western, masculine, bourgeois endeavors, nevertheless be used for emancipatory ends? In this major contribution to the debate over the role gender plays in the scientific enterprise, Sandra Harding pursues that question, challenging the intellectual and social foundations of scientific thought. Harding provides the first comprehensive and critical survey of the feminist science critiques, and examines inquiries into the androcentricism that has endured since the birth of modern science. Harding critiques three epistemological approaches: feminist empiricism, which identifies only bad science as the problem; the feminist standpoint, which holds that women's social experience provides a unique starting point for discovering masculine bias in science; and feminist postmodernism, which disputes the most basic scientific assumptions. She points out the tensions among these stances and the inadequate concepts that inform their analyses, yet maintains that the critical discourse they foster is vital to the quest for a science informed by emancipatory morals and politics.

Comment: Core text in feminist philosophy of science.

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Harding, Sandra. Whose Science? Whose Knowledge?
1991, Ithaca: Cornell University Press
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Added by: Björn Freter

Publisher's Note: Sandra Harding here develops further the themes first addressed in her widely influential book, The Science Question in Feminism, and conducts a compelling analysis of feminist theories on the philosophical problem of how we know what we know. Following a strong narrative line, Harding sets out her arguments in highly readable prose. In Part 1, she discusses issues that will interest anyone concerned with the social bases of scientific knowledge. In Part 2, she modifies some of her views and then pursues the many issues raised by the feminist position which holds that women's social experience provides a unique vantage point for discovering masculine bias and and questioning conventional claims about nature and social life. In Part 3, Harding looks at the insights that people of color, male feminists, lesbians, and others can bring to these controversies, and concludes by outlining a feminist approach to science in which these insights are central. "Women and men cannot understand or explain the world we live in or the real choices we have," she writes, "as long as the sciences describe and explain the world primarily from the perspectives of the lives of the dominant groups." Harding's is a richly informed, radical voice that boldly confronts issues of crucial importance to the future of many academic disciplines. Her book will amply reward readers looking to achieve a more fruitful understanding of the relations between feminism, science, and social life.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Harp, Randall, Kareem Khalifa. Why Pursue Unification? A Social-Epistemological Puzzle
2015, Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 30(3): 431-447.
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Added by: Nick Novelli
Abstract: Many have argued that unified theories ought to be pursued wherever possible. We deny this on the basis of social-epistemological and game-theoretic considerations. Consequently, those seeking a more ubiquitous role for unification must either attend to the scientific community's social structure in greater detail than has been the case, and/or radically revise their conception of unification.

Comment: An interesting argument about how scientific practice influences the rationality of theory choice. Would be suited to any course where these issues are discussed.

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Hawley, Katherine. Science as a guide to Metaphysics?
2006, Synthese 149(3): 451-470.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez
Abstract: Analytic metaphysics is in resurgence; there is renewed and vigorous interest in topics such as time, causation, persistence, parthood and possible worlds. Those who share this interest often pay lip-service to the idea that metaphysics should be informed by modern science; some take this duty very seriously. But there is also a widespread suspicion that science cannot really contribute to metaphysics, and that scientific findings grossly underdetermine metaphysical claims. Can science guide metaphysics? The author links this question to the the choice between Radical Pessimism on the one hand and either Moderate Pessimism or Optimism on the other.

Comment: This paper investigates the relevance of science to metaphysics and could be used as a reading for postgraduate courses in philosophy of science (or metaphysics). It is especially useful for students who want to research the relationship between presentism and special relativity.

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Hesse, Mary. Models and analogies in science
1966, University of Notre dame Press.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez
Summary: In this book Hesse argues, contra Duhem, that models and analogies are integral to understanding scientific practice in general and scientific advancement in particular, especially how the domain of a scientific theory is extended and how theories generate genuinely novel predictions. Hesse thinks that, in order help us to understand a new system or phenomenon, we will often create an analogical model that compares this new system or phenomenon with a more familiar system or phenomenon. Hesse distinguishes different types of analogies according to the kinds of similarity relations in which two objects enter: Positive analogies, negative analogies, and neutral analogies. The crux of the argument is that the recognition of similarities of meaning between paired terms and the recognition of similar causal relations within two analogies plays an essential role in theoretical explanation and prediction in science.

Comment: This book is an accessible introduction to the topic of scientific modelling. Useful for teaching in undergraduate courses.

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Hesse, Mary. Models in Physics
1953, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 4(15): 198-214.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez
Summary: In this article Hesse defends the idea that scientific theories are hypothetico-deductive in form. She examines this hypothetico-deductive method by considering some examples from nineteenth-century mathematical physics. By means of these examples she brings out two points about scientific hypothesis. The first is that mathematical formalisms, when used as hypotheses in the description of physical phenomena, may function like the mechanical models of an earlier stage in physics, without having in themselves any mechanical or other physical interpret. The second point is that most physicists do not regard models as literal descriptions of nature, but as standing in a relation of analogy to nature.

Comment: A really good paper about models in science, mathematical formalism and hypothesis. Highly recomended for postgraduates studying philosophy of physics, although it could also be readable by undergraduates (last years) with previous knowledge of scientific modelling.

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