Advocates or unencumbered selves? On the role of mill's political liberalism in Longino's contextual empiricism
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 76 (5):612-623 (2009)
Helen Longino’s “contextual empiricism” is one of the most sophisticated recent attempts to defend a social theory of science. On this view, objectivity and epistemic acceptability require that research be produced within communities that approximate a Millian marketplace of ideas. I argue, however, that Longino’s embedding of her epistemology within the framework of Mill’s political liberalism implies a conception of individual epistemic agents that is incompatible with her view that scientific knowledge is necessarily social, and I begin to articulate an alternative conception that is better suited to a truly social theory of science. †To contact the author, please write to: School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, 685 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA 30332‐0345; e‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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