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Science and Values

Edited by Matthew J. Brown (University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at Dallas)
Assistant editor: Dan Hicks (University of Western Ontario)
About this topic
Summary Science and values is a multifaceted discussion in the philosophy of science, as there are a variety of ways the conjunction of the two can be understood. Two major theses in this area are (1) that scientific inquiry, rather than being a simple matter of evidence and logic or rule-governed inference, requires a variety of value judgments, and (2) that social (ethical, prudential, political, etc.) values play some role in scientific inquiry. Arguments for the first thesis have generally proceeded from some sort of uncertainty or indeterminacy in the relationship of evidence and theory, such as the underdetermination of theory by evidence. Defenders of this thesis have posited a special set of values, termed "epistemic" or "cognitive", which play a privileged role in scientific inquiry, e.g., simplicity, scope or universality, fruitfulness, accuracy. Proponents of the second thesis have argued either that epistemic values have no special status vis-a-vis other sorts of values, that epistemic values are insufficient to determine theory appraisal, or that decisions about epistemic values depend on contextual social values. Feminist philosophers of science and social studies of science have been particularly important in forwarding the second sort of argument. Those who argue that science is laden with social values have also relied on the argument from inductive risk (the trade-off between false negative and false positive errors).  In addition to these two main issues, the category of social values includes a variety of other important issues, such as the responsible conduct of research, the relation between science and religion, the role of science in policy and politics, the politics of science, the democratization of science, and the extent to which science can generate social and ethical norms (if at all). 
Key works On the role of epistemic values in science, Kuhn 1977, McMullin 1982,and Laudan 1984 are the key works. Rooney 1992 and Longino 1996 examine the distinction between epistemic and non-epistemic (or cognitive and non-cognitive) values. On the role of social values in science, two of the most historically important works are Rudner 1953 and Hempel 1965. Feminist philosophers of science have played a central role in this debate, e.g., Longino 1987, Longino 1990, Nelson 1990, Harding 1991, Keller & Longino 1996, Intemann 2001, Harding 2004, and Kourany 2010. Lacey 1999, Anderson 2004, and Intemann 2005 challenge some of the key assumptions of the arguments for values in science debate. Much of the recent debate over social values in science stems from Douglas 2000, Douglas 2009, Kitcher 2001, and Kitcher 2011.    
Introductions Allchin ms; Longino 2008; Wylie et al 2010; Machamer & Wolters 2004; Carrier et al 2008; Kincaid et al 2007
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  1. C. P. A. (1957). Modern Science and Human Values: A Study in the History of Ideas. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 10 (4):719-719.
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  2. M. A. (1967). La Science Actuelle Et le Rationalisme. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 21 (2):368-369.
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  3. P. D. M. A. (1961). Science and the Structure of Ethics. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 15 (2):341-342.
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  4. G. John M. Abbarno (2009). The New Frontier of Ethics: Values and the Moral Brain. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry 4 (10):15-21.
    The empirical investigations over the past fifteen years of evolutionary biologists and cognitive scientists have demonstrated the accessibility and power of the human brain. Whatever moral concepts used to acknowledge the normative appraisals of human conduct are now explained through neurological hardwiring. This essay outlines some of the main views of proponents, but especially Marc Hauser, and I argue that it does not render the end of morals. It does provide an opportunity to view the facts of how the brain (...)
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  5. Zenaida Yanes Abreu (2008). Ciencia Democrática. El Camino a Seguir: Las Propuestas de Helen Longino y Philip Kitcher. Laguna 23:133-146.
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  6. Peter Achinstein (2001). Subjective Views of Kuhn. Perspectives on Science 9 (4):423-432.
    : In response to a charge of subjectivism, Kuhn in his Postscript emphasizes the importance of "values" (accuracy, simplicity, explanatory power, etc) that are shared by scientists generally. However, Kuhn adds, these values are applied differently by different scientists. By employing a comparison with partially subjective views of Carnap on confirming evidence, this paper raises questions about Kuhn's position on values by considering ways it might be interpreted as subjective and ways it may not.
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  7. Russell L. Ackoff (1949). On a Science of Ethics. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 9 (4):663-672.
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  8. Barbara Adam (1998). Values in the Cultural Timescapes of Science. Cultural Values 2 (2-3):385-402.
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  9. Shelley A. Adamo (2013). Attrition of Women in the Biological Sciences: Workload, Motherhood, and Other Explanations Revisited. BioScience 63 (1):43-48.
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  10. Kathryn Pyne Addelson (1984). Doing Science. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:543 - 548.
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  11. Michael D. Aeschliman (2009). Michael Aeschliman on Scientism Vs. Sapentia. The Chesterton Review 35 (1-2):248-257.
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  12. International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs (1981). Science Et Antiscience. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  13. Boris Nikolaevich Agapov (1972). Vzbiraetsia Razum. "Sov. Rossiia".
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  14. Joseph Agassi (2003). Science and Culture. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  15. Joseph Agassi (1984). Cheapening Science. [REVIEW] Inquiry 27 (1):166.
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  16. Ademola J. Ajuwon & Nancy Kass (2008). Outcome of a Research Ethics Training Workshop Among Clinicians and Scientists in a Nigerian University. BMC Medical Ethics 9 (1):1.
    In Nigeria, as in other developing countries, access to training in research ethics is limited, due to weak social, economic, and health infrastructure. The project described in this article was designed to develop the capacity of academic staff of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria to conduct ethically acceptable research involving human participants.
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  17. Linda Alcoff (1987). Justifying Feminist Social Science. Hypatia 2 (3):107 - 127.
    In this paper I set out the problem of feminist social science as the need to explain and justify its method of theory choice in relation to both its own theories and those of androcentric social science. In doing this, it needs to avoid both a positivism which denies the impact of values on scientific theory-choice and a radical relativism which undercuts the emancipatory potential of feminist research. From the relevant literature I offer two possible solutions: the Holistic and the (...)
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  18. S. Alexander (1926). Art and Science: Art and Science. Philosophy 1 (1):5-19.
    The thesis which I wish to recommend to you is that science is a form of art though not of fine art: that like art, it is a human invention, not less real for that, and having value, or being valuable, partly if not mainly because of that. I mean to indicate by this statement that for me at least a better insight can be got into the nature of science by considering it as a form of art, and asking (...)
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  19. Anna Alexandrova (2012). Values and the Science of Well-Being : A Recipe for Mixing. In Harold Kincaid (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Oxford University Press.
  20. D. Allchin (1999). Science and Values: An Educational Perspective. Science and Education 8:1-12.
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  21. Douglas Allchin, VALUES IN SCIENCE: An Introduction.
    Values intersect with science in three primary ways. First, there are values, particularly epistemic values, which guide scientific research itself. Second, the scientific enterprise is always embedded in some particular culture and values enter science through its individual practitioners, whether consciously or not. Finally, values emerge from science, both as a product and process, and may be redistributed more broadly in the culture or society. Also, scientific discoveries may pose new social challenges about values, though the values themselves may be (...)
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  22. M. J. Allen (1999). Science and Stonehenge. Proceedings of the British Academy 92.
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  23. T. F. H. Allen, Joseph A. Tainter, J. Chris Pires & Thomas W. Hoekstra (2001). Dragnet Ecology—“Just the Facts, Ma'am”: The Privilege of Science in a Postmodern World Science of Intrinsic Quality Needs Narratives with Explicit Values—Not Just Facts—Particularly as It Faces Multiple-Level Complexity in Advising on Environmental Policy, Such as Planning for Energy Futures. BioScience 51 (6):475-485.
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  24. Rudolf Allers (1947). Gustav Th. Fechner , Religion of a Scientist. [REVIEW] The Thomist 10:267.
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  25. Joachim Allgaier, Sharon Dunwoody, Dominique Brossard, Yin-Yueh Lo & Hans Peter Peters (2013). Journalism and Social Media as Means of Observing the Contexts of Science. BioScience 63 (4):284-287.
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  26. Joachim Allgaier, Sharon Dunwoody, Dominique Brossard, Yin-Yueh Lo & Hans Peter Peters (2013). Journalism and Social Media as Means of Observing the Contexts of Science. BioScience 63 (4):284-287..
    The transformation of today’s mass media system leads to uncertainty about communication behaviors concerning scientific issues. So far, few researchers have investigated this issue among scientists. We conducted a survey of neuroscientists in Germany and the United States in which we asked them about their own information-seeking behaviors and their assessment of the influence of various types of “old” and “new” media on public opinion and political decisionmaking. Our findings suggest that neuroscientists continue to use traditional journalistic media more often (...)
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  27. Ben Almassi (2012). Climate Change, Epistemic Trust, and Expert Trustworthiness. Ethics and the Environment 17 (2):29-49.
    The evidence most of us have for our beliefs on global climate change, the extent of human contribution to it, and appropriate anticipatory and mitigating actions turns crucially on epistemic trust. We extend trust or distrust (or refrain from extending either) to many varied others: scientists performing original research, intergovernmental agencies and those reviewing research, think tanks offering critique and advocating skepticism, journalists transmitting and interpreting claims, even social systems of modern science such as peer-reviewed publication and grant allocation. Our (...)
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  28. J. S. Alper (1977). Biological Determinism. Telos 1977 (31):164-172.
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  29. Peter Alpert (1995). The Boulder and the Sphere: Subjectivity and Implicit Values in Biology. Environmental Values 4 (1):3 - 15.
    Science is inherently subjective. The experience of dissertation research in ecology showed how intuitively derived hypotheses and assumptions define the questions one asks and the variables one measures, and how idealised forms and generalised types facilitate analysis but distort interpretation. Because these conceptual tools are indispensable to science, subjectivity is ineluctable. This has moral implications. Scientists are responsible for the particular abstractions they select and must therefore accept some moral responsibility for the way their results are used. Those who use (...)
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  30. Hugo Fjelsted Alrøe & Erik Steen Kristensen (2002). Towards a Systemic Research Methodology in Agriculture: Rethinking the Role of Values in Science. [REVIEW] Agriculture and Human Values 19 (1):3-23.
    The recent drastic developmentof agriculture, together with the growingsocietal interest in agricultural practices andtheir consequences, pose a challenge toagricultural science. There is a need forrethinking the general methodology ofagricultural research. This paper takes somesteps towards developing a systemic researchmethodology that can meet this challenge – ageneral self-reflexive methodology that forms abasis for doing holistic or (with a betterterm) wholeness-oriented research and providesappropriate criteria of scientific quality.From a philosophy of research perspective,science is seen as an interactive learningprocess with both a cognitive (...)
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  31. Jeanne Altmann (1974). Observational Study of Behavior: Sampling Methods. Behaviour 49 (3/4):227-67.
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  32. Valer Ambrus (2001). Max Webers Wertfreiheitspostulat Und Die Naturalistische Begründung Von Normen. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 32 (2):209-236.
    Max Weber's postulate of value-neutrality and the naturalistic justification of norms. The relationship between facts and values is an essential problem in philosophy, political science and sociology. Usually it is held that there is a wide gap between what is and what ought to be, the nature of which, however, is far from clear. My purpose is to elucidate this relationship by analyzing some well-known articles of Max Weber. I first present Weber's postulate of ‘value-neutrality’ and outline the reasons he (...)
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  33. Chae-gu An (1991). Ch°Æorhak Æui Segye Kwahak Æui Segye. Chuksan.
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  34. Elizabeth Anderson (2007). Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Feminist epistemology and philosophy of science studies the ways in which gender does and ought to influence our conceptions of knowledge, the knowing subject, and practices of inquiry and justification. It identifies ways in which dominant conceptions and practices of knowledge attribution, acquisition, and justification systematically disadvantage women and other subordinated groups, and strives to reform these conceptions and practices so that they serve the interests of these groups. Various practitioners of feminist epistemology and philosophy of science argue that dominant (...)
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  35. Elizabeth Anderson (2004). Uses of Value Judgments in Science: A General Argument, with Lessons From a Case Study of Feminist Research on Divorce. Hypatia 19 (1):1-24.
    : The underdetermination argument establishes that scientists may use political values to guide inquiry, without providing criteria for distinguishing legitimate from illegitimate guidance. This paper supplies such criteria. Analysis of the confused arguments against value-laden science reveals the fundamental criterion of illegitimate guidance: when value judgments operate to drive inquiry to a predetermined conclusion. A case study of feminist research on divorce reveals numerous legitimate ways that values can guide science without violating this standard.
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  36. Elizabeth Anderson (2004). Uses of Value Judgments in Feminist Social Science: A Case Study of Research on Divorce. Hypatia 19 (1):1-24.
  37. Elizabeth Anderson (1995). Knowledge, Human Interests, and Objectivity in Feminist Epistemology. Philosophical Topics 23 (2):27-58.
  38. James Anderson (1997). What Cognitive Science Tells Us About Ethics and the Teaching of Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 16 (3):279-291.
    A relatively new and exciting area of collaboration has begun between philosophy of mind and ethics. This paper attempts to explore aspects of this collaboration and how they bear upon traditional ethics. It is the author's contention that much of Western moral philosophy has been guided by largely unrecognized assumptions regarding reason, knowledge and conceptualization, and that when examined against empirical research in cognitive science, these assumptions turn out to be false -- or at the very least, unrealistic for creatures (...)
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  39. David A. Andow & Angelika Hilbeck (2004). Science-Based Risk Assessment for Nontarget Effects of Transgenic Crops. BioScience 54 (7):637.
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  40. Marc Angenot (1990). Frontières des études littéraires : science de la littérature, science des discours. Horizons Philosophiques 1 (1):23-34.
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  41. Stefan Anguelov (1972). Ethics as a Science. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 33 (2):207-215.
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  42. Berna Arda (2012). Publication Ethics From the Perspective of PhD Students of Health Sciences: A Limited Experience. Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (2):213-222.
    Publication ethics, an important subtopic of science ethics, deals with determination of the misconducts of science in performing research or in the dissemination of ideas, data and products. Science, the main features of which are secure, reliable and ethically obtained data, plays a major role in shaping the society. As long as science maintains its quality by being based on reliable and ethically obtained data, it will be possible to maintain its role in shaping the society. This article is devoted (...)
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  43. Felix Arnold (1905). Oincare's La Valeur de la Science. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 2 (23):630.
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  44. Raymond Aron, Anthony R. Michaelis & Hugh Harvey (eds.) (1973). Scientists in Search of Their Conscience. New York,Springer-Verlag.
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  45. Elena Aronova (2009). In Search of the Soul in Science: Medical Ethics' Appropriation of Philosophy of Science in the 1970s. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 31 (1):5 - 33.
    This paper examines the deployment of science studies within the field of medical ethics. For a short time, the discourse of medical ethics became a fertile ground for a dialogue between philosophically minded bioethicists and the philosophers of science who responded to Thomas Kuhn's challenge. In their discussion of the validity of Kuhn's work, these bioethicists suggested a distinct interpretation of Kuhn, emphasizing the elements in his account that had been independently developed by Michael Polanyi, and propelling a view of (...)
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  46. Mariano Artigas (2008). Values in Science. In Evandro Agazzi & Fabio Minazzi (eds.), Science and Ethics: The Axiological Contexts of Science. P.I.E. Peter Lang. 14--115.
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  47. David John Atkinson (1980). The Values of Science.
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  48. R. Audi (2009). Religion and the Politics of Science: Can Evolutionary Biology Be Religiously Neutral? Philosophy and Social Criticism 35 (1-2):23-50.
    This article examines the permissibility of teaching evolution in the public schools of a religiously diverse society. Science is committed to methodological naturalism, which is a limited epistemological position that is silent on issues of religious importance. The article argues that it is possible to teach evolution under the assumptions of methodological naturalism without violating the principle, of secular rationale or the neutrality principle which apply to religion in a pluralistic democracy. However, neither creationism nor Intelligent Design qualify for inclusion (...)
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  49. Y. A. P. Audrey (2010). Feminism and Carnap's Principle of Tolerance. Hypatia 25 (2):437-454.
    The logical empiricists often appear as a foil for feminist theories. Their emphasis on the individualistic nature of knowledge and on the value-neutrality of science seems directly opposed to most feminist concerns. However, several recent works have highlighted aspects of Carnap's views that make him seem like much less of a straightforwardly positivist thinker. Certain of these aspects lend themselves to feminist concerns much more than the stereotypical picture would imply.
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  50. Monica Aufrecht (2011). The Context Distinction: Controversies Over Feminist Philosophy of Science. [REVIEW] European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (3):373-392.
    The “context of discovery” and “context of justification” distinction has been used by Noretta Koertge and Lynn Hankinson Nelson in debates over the legitimacy of feminist approaches to philosophy of science. Koertge uses the context distinction to focus the conversation by barring certain approaches. I contend this focus masks points of true disagreement about the nature of justification. Nonetheless, Koertge raises important questions that have been too quickly set aside by some. I conclude that the context distinction should not be (...)
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