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Science and Values

Edited by Matthew J. Brown (University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at Dallas)
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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.
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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. Barbara Adam (1998). Values in the Cultural Timescapes of Science. Cultural Values 2 (2-3):385-402.
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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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.
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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. Elizabeth Anderson, Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science.
    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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. Joseph L. Austerweil & Thomas L. Griffiths (2011). Seeking Confirmation Is Rational for Deterministic Hypotheses. Cognitive Science 35 (3):499-526.
    The tendency to test outcomes that are predicted by our current theory (the confirmation bias) is one of the best-known biases of human decision making. We prove that the confirmation bias is an optimal strategy for testing hypotheses when those hypotheses are deterministic, each making a single prediction about the next event in a sequence. Our proof applies for two normative standards commonly used for evaluating hypothesis testing: maximizing expected information gain and maximizing the probability of falsifying the current hypothesis. (...)
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  23. Guy S. Axtell (1993). In the Tracks of the Historicist Movement: Re-Assessing the Carnap-Kuhn Connection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (1):119-146.
    Thirty years after the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, sharp disagreement persists concerning the implications of Kuhn’s "historicist" challenge to empiricism. I discuss the historicist movement over the past thirty years, and the extent to which the discourse between two branches of the historical school has been influenced by tacit assumptions shared with Rudolf Carnap’s empiricism. I begin with an examination of Carnap’s logicism --his logic of science-- and his 1960 correspondence with Kuhn. I focus on (...)
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  24. Archie J. Bahm (1970). How Imtriesic Values. In Ervin Laszlo & James Benjamin Wilbur (eds.), Human Values and Natural Science. New York,Gordon and Beach. 4--237.
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  25. S. W. Ball (1993). Facts, Values, and Interpretation in Law: Jurisprudence From Perspectives in Ethics and Philosophy of Science. American Journal of Jurisprudence 38 (1):15-61.
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  26. Ian G. Barbour (2001). Science and Scientism in Huston Smith's Why Religion Matters. Zygon 36 (2):207-214.
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  27. Drucilla K. Barker & Edith Kuiper (eds.) (2003). Toward a Feminist Philosophy of Economics. Routledge.
    Feminist economists have demonstrated that interrogating hierarchies based on gender, ethnicity, class and nation results in an economics that is biased and more faithful to empirical evidence than are mainstream accounts. This rigorous and comprehensive book examines many of the central philosophical questions and themes in feminist economics including: · History of economics · Feminist science studies · Identity and agency · Caring labor · Postcolonialism and postmodernism With contributions from such leading figures as Nancy Folbre, Julie Nelson and Sandra (...)
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  28. J. A. Barnes (1977). The Ethics of Inquiry in Social Science: Three Lectures. Oxford University Press.
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  29. Christian Baron (2009). Epistemic Values in the Burgess Shale Debate. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 40 (4):286-295.
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  30. Eduardo Salles O. Barra (2010). Impartiality as a Constitutive Value of Science. Principia 1 (2):287-290.
    Note on Lacey's "The Constitutive Values of Science".
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  31. Andrew B. Barron, Malin Ah‐King & Marie E. Herberstein (2011). Plenty of Sex, but No Sexuality in Biology Undergraduate Curricula. Bioessays 33 (12):899-902.
    Research over the last decades has stimulated a paradigm shift in biology from assuming fixed and dichotomous male and female sexual strategies to an appreciation of significant variation in sex and sexual behaviour both within and between species. This has resulted in the development of a broader biological understanding of sexual strategies, sexuality and variation in sexual behaviour. However, current introductory biological textbooks have not yet incorporated these new research findings. Our analysis of the content of current biology texts suggests (...)
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  32. Thomas Basbǿll (2005). Peter Machamer and Gereon Wolters, Eds., Science Values and Objectivity Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 25 (5):366-369.
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  33. Diderik Batens (1976). Some Remarks on the Relation Between Science and Values. Philosophica 17.
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  34. Robert Baum (1983). A Philosophical/Historical Perspective on Contemporary Concerns and Trends in the Area of Science and Values. In James Hamilton Schaub, Karl Pavlovic & M. D. Morris (eds.), Engineering Professionalism and Ethics. Krieger Pub. Co..
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  35. Kenneth Bausch (2005). Religion as Attractor, Process, and Biology. World Futures 61 (7):534 – 543.
    Science and religion contend for the world's allegiance. Scientists are bewildered by people's acceptance of some seemingly irrational values and judgments endorsed by religion. They argue strenuously with people about the common good and systemic consequences of actions, but are trumped by religious nostrums. Why? Science and religion both arise from our bewilderment with the complexity of our lives. At their roots they are vital, necessary, liberating, and complementary processes. So, why the perceived conflict? Experiences of universal unity arise naturally (...)
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  36. John Beatty (2006). Masking Disagreement Among Experts. Episteme 3 (1-2):52-67.
    There are many reasons why scientific experts may mask disagreement and endorse a position publicly as “jointly accepted.” In this paper I consider the inner workings of a group of scientists charged with deciding not only a technically difficult issue, but also a matter of social and political importance: the maximum acceptable dose of radiation. I focus on how, in this real world situation, concerns with credibility, authority, and expertise shaped the process by which this group negotiated the competing virtues (...)
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  37. William Bechtel (1981). Science History & Values A Guide to the Culture of Science, Technology and Medicine Paul T. Durbin. Bioscience 31 (8):610-610.
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  38. Mark Bedau, Objectifying Values in Science: A Case Study.
    There are at least two different ways in which values and science can be connected. One is through the evaluation of science, and the other is through the scientific investigation of values. The evaluation of science is a non−scientific, political or ethical investigation of the practices of science. Various proposed and actual scientific practices call out for social and ethical evaluation. A few that have received recent attention are the human genome project, intelligence testing, and encryption algorithms. Such evaluations of (...)
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  39. Mark A. Bedau (2004). A Case Study in Objectifying Values in Science. In Peter K. Machamer & Gereon Wolters (eds.), Science, Values, and Objectivity. University of Pittsburgh Press. 190.
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  40. Stafford Beer (1963). Book Review:Prediction and Optimal Decision: Philosophical Issues of a Science of Values C. West Churchman. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 30 (1):84-.
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  41. Mara Beller (1999). Quantum Dialogue: The Making of a Revolution. University of Chicago Press.
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  42. David Benatar (2007). Unscientific Ethics: Science and Selective Ethics. Hastings Center Report 37 (1):30-32.
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  43. Abram Cornelius Benjamin (1965). Science, Technology, and Human Values. Columbia, University of Missouri Press.
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  44. Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Sacha Loeve, Alfred Nordmann & Astrid Schwarz (2011). Matters of Interest: The Objects of Research in Science and Technoscience. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 42 (2):365-383.
    This discussion paper proposes that a meaningful distinction between science and technoscience can be found at the level of the objects of research. Both notions intermingle in the attitudes, intentions, programs and projects of researchers and research institutions—that is, on the side of the subjects of research. But the difference between science and technoscience becomes more explicit when research results are presented in particular settings and when the objects of research are exhibited for the specific interest they hold. When an (...)
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  45. Steven Best & Douglas Kellner, Biotechnology, Ethics, and the Politics of Cloning.
    As we move into a new millennium fraught with terror and danger, a global postmodern cosmopolis is unfolding in the midst of rapid evolutionary and social changes co-constructed by science, technology, and the restructuring of global capital. We are quickly morphing into a new biological and social existence that is ever-more mediated and shaped by computers, mass media, and biotechnology, all driven by the logic of capital and a powerful emergent technoscience. In this global context, science is no longer merely (...)
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  46. Gregor Betz (2013). In Defence of the Value Free Ideal. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2):207-220.
    The ideal of value free science states that the justification of scientific findings should not be based on non-epistemic (e.g. moral or political) values. It has been criticized on the grounds that scientists have to employ moral judgements in managing inductive risks. The paper seeks to defuse this methodological critique. Allegedly value-laden decisions can be systematically avoided, it argues, by making uncertainties explicit and articulating findings carefully. Such careful uncertainty articulation, understood as a methodological strategy, is exemplified by the current (...)
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  47. Louise Bezuidenhout (2014). Moving Life Science Ethics Debates Beyond National Borders: Some Empirical Observations. Science and Engineering Ethics 20 (2):445-467.
    The life sciences are increasingly being called on to produce “socially robust” knowledge that honors the social contract between science and society. This has resulted in the emergence of a number of “broad social issues” that reflect the ethical tensions in these social contracts. These issues are framed in a variety of ways around the world, evidenced by differences in regulations addressing them. It is important to question whether these variations are simply regulatory variations or in fact reflect a contextual (...)
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  48. Shonil A. Bhagwat (2009). Ecosystem Services and Sacred Natural Sites: Reconciling Material and Non-Material Values in Nature Conservation. Environmental Values 18 (4):417 - 427.
    Ecosystems services are provisions that humans derive from nature. Ecologists trying to value ecosystems have proposed five categories of these services: preserving, supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural. While this ecosystem services framework attributes 'material' value to nature, sacred natural sites are areas of 'non-material' spiritual significance to people. Can we reconcile the material and non-material values? Ancient classical traditions recognise five elements of nature: earth, water, air, fire and ether. This commentary demonstrates that the perceived properties of these elements correspond (...)
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  49. Justin Biddle (2013). State of the Field: Transient Underdetermination and Values in Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):124-133.
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  50. Justin Biddle, Transient Underdetermination, Value Freedom, and the Epistemic Purity of Science.
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