Science, Truth, and Democracy (Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Science)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Striving to boldly redirect the philosophy of science, this book by renowned philosopher Philip Kitcher examines the heated debate surrounding the role of science in shaping our lives. Kitcher explores the sharp divide between those who believe that the pursuit of scientific knowledge is always valuable and necessary--the purists--and those who believe that it invariably serves the interests of people in positions of power. In a daring turn, he rejects both perspectives, working out a more realistic image of the sciences--one that allows for the possibility of scientific truth, but nonetheless permits social consensus to determine which avenues to investigate. He then proposes a democratic and deliberative framework for responsible scientists to follow.
Controversial, powerful, yet engaging, this volume will appeal to a wide range of readers. Kitcher's nuanced analysis and authoritative conclusion will interest countless scientists as well as all readers of science--scholars and laypersons alike.
For, if that thesis is true, there is no evidential basis for most scientiﬁc decisions, and the acceptance of particular hypotheses must reﬂect either the dogmatism of rejecting articulated rivals or a failure of imagination in developing the rivals (or The Ideal of Objectivity 33 possibly both). So it’s important to examine the credentials of the idea of permanent underdetermination. Where does that idea come from? Two important episodes in the history of physics have had an important
question either the value of that principle in evolutionary studies or the interest of such studies. Nevertheless, ecology, structural biology, and other subdisciplines have their own concerns, and it would be folly to insist that their classiﬁcations ought always to be imposed by reference to a history that may be both irrelevant and conjectural. As we move beyond the contexts of biological research, the folly becomes even more obvious. Amateur gardeners and even horticulturalists have an uneasy
Imagine further that some scientiﬁc investigations conducted within the society might be taken to support conclusions that bear on the ofﬁcially discarded belief. Speciﬁcally, let the belief in question be, “People with a particular characteristic (call it C) are naturally less well-suited to a particular role (call it R),” Constraints on Free Inquiry 97 and suppose that an area of science S might yield evidence for or against this view. The impact of pursuing S and uncovering the evidence is
sequence technology and applying that technology to selected nonhuman organisms is expected to make biologists of our century better able to explore the large questions of physiology, developmental biology, and even evolution (genomic analysis will shed light on evolutionary relationships and reveal the kinds of changes involved in speciation). The scientists involved believe that the work in which they’re engaged will ultimately translate into an enormously richer and more complete view of
was “unparalleled in the history of science,” it’s genuinely hard to say whether the “balanced application of the criteria” has anything to do with the success. The point is elementary. One can’t claim that the use of the criteria has contributed unless there’s a “control”— a point on which committee members would surely insist if they were evaluating a scientiﬁc proposal for “high quality”— and the history supplies no “control.” Despite their conﬁdence that things have been going well, the