Science and Values

Edited by Matthew J. Brown (Southern Illinois University - Carbondale)
Assistant editor: Daniel Hicks
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 1981, 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, Fox Keller & E. 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. Expertise, Moral Subversion, and Climate Deregulation.Ahmad Elabbar - forthcoming - Synthese.
    The weaponizing of scientific expertise to oppose regulation has been extensively studied. However, the relevant studies, belonging to the emerging discipline of agnotology, remain focused on the analysis of empirical corruption: of misinformation, doubt mongering, and other practices that cynically deploy expertise to render audiences ignorant of empirical facts. This paper explores the wrongful deployment of expertise beyond empirical corruption. To do so, I develop a broader framework of morally subversive expertise, building on recent work in political philosophy (Howard, 2016). (...)
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  2. Ontological pluralism and social values.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2024 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 104 (C):61-67.
    There seems to be an emerging consensus among many philosophers of science that non-epistemic values ought to play a role in the process of scientific reasoning itself. Recently, a number of philosophers have focused on the role of values in scientific classification or taxonomy. Their claim is that a choice of ontology or taxonomic scheme can only be made, or should only be made, by appealing to non-epistemic or social values. In this paper, I take on this “argument from ontological (...)
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  3. The Influence of Values on Medical Research.S. Andrew Schroeder - forthcoming - In Alex Broadbent (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Medicine. Oxford University Press.
    Mainstream views of medical research tell us it should be a fact-based, value-free endeavor: what a scientist (or her funding source) wants or cares about should not influence her findings. At the same time, we also sometimes criticize medical research for failing to embody certain values, e.g. when we criticize pharmaceutical companies for largely ignoring the diseases that affect the global poor. This chapter seeks to reconcile these perspectives by distinguishing appropriate from inappropriate influences of values on medical research. It (...)
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  4. Social Science, Policy and Democracy.Johanna Thoma - 2023 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 52 (1):5-41.
  5. How pluralistic is pluralism really? A case study of Sandra Mitchell’s Integrative Pluralism.Ragnar van der Merwe - 2024 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 38 (3):319-338.
    Epistemic pluralists in the philosophy of science often argue that different epistemic perspectives in science are equally warranted. Sandra Mitchell – with her Integrative Pluralism (IP) – has notably advocated for this kind of epistemic pluralism. A problem arises for Mitchell however because she also wants to be an epistemological pluralist. She claims that, not only are different epistemic perspectives in science equally warranted in different contexts, but different understandings of these epistemic perspectives in science are also equally warranted in (...)
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  6. Straightening the ‘value-laden turn’: minimising the influence of extra-scientific values in science.Philippe Stamenkovic - 2024 - Synthese 203 (20):1-38.
    Straightening the current ‘value-laden turn’ (VLT) in the philosophical literature on values in science, and reviving the legacy of the value-free ideal of science (VFI), this paper argues that the influence of extra-scientific values should be minimised—not excluded—in the core phase of scientific inquiry where claims are accepted or rejected. Noting that the original arguments for the VFI (ensuring the truth of scientific knowledge, respecting the autonomy of science results users, preserving public trust in science) have not been satisfactorily addressed (...)
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  7. Lockdowns, Bioethics, and the Public: Policy‐Making in a Liberal Democracy.S. Andrew Schroeder - 2023 - Hastings Center Report 53 (6):11-17.
    [OPEN ACCESS] Commentaries on the ethics of Covid lockdowns nearly all focus on offering substantive guidance to policy‐makers. Lockdowns, however, raise many ethical questions that admit of a range of reasonable answers. In such cases, policy‐making in a liberal democracy ought to be sensitive to which reasonable views the public actually holds—a topic existing bioethical work on lockdowns has not explored in detail. In this essay, I identify several important questions connected to the kind of influence the public ought to (...)
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  8. On the Harms of Agnotological Practices and How to Address Them.Inmaculada de Melo-Martín - 2023 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 36 (3):211-228.
    Although science is our most reliable producer of knowledge, it can also be used to create ignorance, unjustified doubt, and misinformation. In doing so, agnotological practices result not only in epistemic harms but also in social ones. A way to prevent or minimise such harms is to impede these ignorance-producing practices. In this paper, I explore various challenges to such a proposal. I first argue that reliably identifying agnotological practices in a way that permits the prevention of relevant harms is (...)
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  9. The Importance of Realism about Gender Kinds: Lessons from Beauvoir.Theodore Bach - 2023 - Analyse & Kritik 45 (2):269-295.
    Beauvoir’s The Second Sex stands out as a master class in the accommodation of conceptual and inferential practices to real, objective gender kinds. Or so I will argue. To establish this framing, we will first need in hand the kind of scientific epistemology that correctly reconciles epistemic progress and error, particularly as pertains to the unruly social sciences. An important goal of the paper is to develop that epistemological framework and unlock its ontological implications for the domain of gender. As (...)
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  10. Specialisation by Value Divergence: The Role of Epistemic Values in the Branching of Scientific Disciplines.Matteo De Benedetto & Michele Luchetti - 2023 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 36 (2):121-141.
    According to Kuhn's speciation analogy, scientific specialisation is fundamentally analogous to biological speciation. In this paper, we extend Kuhn's original language-centred formulation of the speciation analogy, to account for episodes of scientific specialisation centred around methodological differences. Building upon recent views in evolutionary biology about the process of speciation by genetic divergence, we will show how these methodology-centred episodes of scientific specialisation can be understood as cases of specialisation driven by value divergence. We will apply our model of specialisation by (...)
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  11. What is a Beautiful Experiment?Milena Ivanova - 2022 - Erkenntnis 88 (8):3419-3437.
    This article starts an engagement on the aesthetics of experiments and offers an account for analysing how aesthetics features in the design, evaluation and reception of experiments. I identify two dimensions of aesthetic evaluation of experiments: design and significance. When it comes to design, a number of qualities, such as simplicity, economy and aptness, are analysed and illustrated with the famous Meselson-Stahl experiment. Beautiful experiments are also regarded to make significant discoveries, but I argue against a narrow construal of experimental (...)
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  12. Three Criteria for Virtuous Collaboration Across Epistemic Practices: A Case from Sentimentalism and Field Environmental Philosophy.Nicolas Silva & Esteban Céspedes - 2023 - Journal of Ethnobiology 43 (3):239-249.
    The present paper proposes three desiderata that methodologies for collaboration between philosophy and ethnobiology should satisfy. The account considers that a focus on a sentimentalist virtue epistemology is necessary to effectively address problems and challenges in such collaborations. Our focus on sentimentalism is further elaborated through three desiderata: (D1) The context of the collaboration should encourage receptivity among practitioners; (D2) collaborations should aim to produce knowledge that addresses the problems faced by stakeholders; and (D3) relevant communities and collaborators for each (...)
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  13. Science Communication and the Problematic Impact of Descriptive Norms.Uwe Peters - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (3):713-738.
    When scientists or science reporters communicate research results to the public, this often involves ethical and epistemic risks. One such risk arises when scientific claims cause cognitive or behavioural changes in the audience that contribute to the self-fulfilment of these claims. I argue that the ethical and epistemic problems that such self-fulfilment effects may pose are much broader and more common than hitherto appreciated. Moreover, these problems are often due to a specific psychological phenomenon that has been neglected in the (...)
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  14. Developing more useful equity measurements for flood-risk management.Adam Pollack, Casey Helgeson, Carolyn Kousky & Klaus Keller - forthcoming - Nature Sustainability.
    Decision-makers increasingly invoke equity to motivate, design, implement, and evaluate strategies for managing flood risks. But there is no objective definition of equity. This pluralistic setting calls for transparency about underlying values, but this practice is uncommon. Here, we review how equity is measured by surveying peer-reviewed publications that explicitly state an interest in equity in the context of flood-risk management. We develop a simple taxonomy for how transparent measurements can be defined. We map reviewed measurements to this taxonomy. Finally, (...)
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  15. Varying Evidential Standards as a Matter of Justice.Ahmad Elabbar - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The setting of evidential standards is a core practice of scientific assessment for policy. Persuaded by considerations of inductive risk, philosophers generally agree that the justification of evidential standards must appeal to non-epistemic values but debate whether the balance of non-epistemic reasons favours varying evidential standards versus maintaining fixed high evidential standards in assessment, as both sets of standards promote different and important political virtues of advisory institutions. In this paper, I adjudicate the evidential standards debate by developing a novel (...)
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  16. The uses of grand challenges in research policy and university management: something for everyone.Anita Välikangas - 2022 - Journal of Responsible Innovation 9 (1):93-113.
    The notion of grand challenges has become popular in research governance to support the allocation of research funding to societally beneficial topics. This article illustrates the flexibility and usefulness of grand challenges for university rectorates and project leaders when communicating with policy makers, research funders, and local industries and companies. The flexibility is beneficial to researchers and rectorate during the design stage of research projects. However, their utility diminishes in the later stages as other targets take precedence, particularly the need (...)
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  17. Unveiling the interplay between evidence, values and cognitive biases. The case of the failure of the AstraZeneca COVID‐19 vaccine.Cristina Amoretti & Elisabetta Lalumera - 2023 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 1.
  18. Bias Optimizers.Damien P. Williams - 2023 - American Scientist 111 (4):204-207.
  19. “That’s Your Bloody GDP, Not Ours.” On Citizen Engagement, Values, and the Case for Citizen Economics.Jeroen Van Bouwel - 2023 - Oeconomia 13 (1):49-86.
    Given that values influence the scientific process, including when doing economics, we should be asking under what conditions this influence is justifiable. In this paper, I argue that citizen engagement could be the best way to scrutinize and justify value influences in economics. To do so, I analyze a number of citizen engagement initiatives in economics and discuss how they contribute to value scrutiny. Next, I look at the rationales that have been formulated for such a citizen economics, like, e.g., (...)
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  20. Review of Kevin Christopher Elliott and Ted Richards: Exploring Inductive Risk: Case Studies of Values in Science[REVIEW]Federica Russo - 2019 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 9 (1):179-182.
  21. Expert judgment in climate science: How it is used and how it can be justified.Mason Majszak & Julie Jebeile - 2023 - Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 100 (C):32-38.
    Like any science marked by high uncertainty, climate science is characterized by a widespread use of expert judgment. In this paper, we first show that, in climate science, expert judgment is used to overcome uncertainty, thus playing a crucial role in the domain and even at times supplanting models. One is left to wonder to what extent it is legitimate to assign expert judgment such a status as an epistemic superiority in the climate context, especially as the production of expert (...)
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  22. The Medical Model of “Obesity” and the Values Behind the Guise of Health.Kayla R. Mehl - forthcoming - Synthese 201 (6):1-28.
    Assumptions about obesity—e.g., its connection to ill health, its causes, etc.—are still prevalent today, and they make up what I call the medical model of fatness. In this paper, I argue that the medical model was established on the basis of insufficient evidence and has nevertheless continued to be relied upon to justify methodological choices that further entrench the assumptions of the medical model. These choices are illegitimate in so far as they conflict with both the epistemic and social aims (...)
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  23. How Uncertainty Interacts with Ethical Values in Climate Change Research.Casey Helgeson, Wendy Parker & Nancy Tuana - forthcoming - In Linda Mearns, Chris Forest, Hayley Fowler, Robert Lempert & Robert Wilby (eds.), Uncertainty in Climate Change Research: An Integrated Approach. Springer.
    Like all human activities, scientific research is infused with values. Scientific discovery can, for example, be valued as an end in itself. The phrase ethical values is an umbrella term for much of what people care about aside from knowledge for its own sake. Ethical values encompass reasons for caring about the harms caused by climate impacts or the injustice of how those harms are distributed. The closer that research gets to informing real-world actions, the more the design of that (...)
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  24. Institutional Values Influence the Design and Evaluation of Transition Knowledge in Funding Proposals at NOAA.Steve Elliott, Gina Eosco, Laura Newcomb & Joseph Conran - 2023 - Philosophy of Science 90:1286 - 1296.
    This paper shows how institutional values influence the design and evaluation of arguments in funding proposals for research. We characterize a general argument made within proposals and several kinds of subarguments that contribute to it. We indicate that funders’ values inform the kinds of proposal documents funders require and their relative weighting of them. We illustrate these points by showing how a program office in the U.S. federal agency NOAA uses its public service mission to require and heavily weigh arguments (...)
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  25. Algorithmic neutrality.Milo Phillips-Brown - manuscript
    Algorithms wield increasing control over our lives—over which jobs we get, whether we're granted loans, what information we're exposed to online, and so on. Algorithms can, and often do, wield their power in a biased way, and much work has been devoted to algorithmic bias. In contrast, algorithmic neutrality has gone largely neglected. I investigate three questions about algorithmic neutrality: What is it? Is it possible? And when we have it in mind, what can we learn about algorithmic bias?
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  26. Thinking about Values in Science: Ethical versus Political Approaches.S. Andrew Schroeder - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):246-255.
    Philosophers of science now broadly agree that doing good science involves making non-epistemic value judgments. I call attention to two very different normative standards which can be used to evaluate such judgments: standards grounded in ethics and standards grounded in political philosophy. Though this distinction has not previously been highlighted, I show that the values in science literature contain arguments of each type. I conclude by explaining why this distinction is important. Seeking to determine whether some value-laden determination meets substantive (...)
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  27. Engaging with science, values, and society: introduction.Ingo Brigandt - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):223-226.
    Philosophical work on science and values has come to engage with the concerns of society and of stakeholders affected by science and policy, leading to socially relevant philosophy of science and socially engaged philosophy of science. This special issue showcases instances of socially relevant philosophy of science, featuring contributions on a diversity of topics by Janet Kourany, Andrew Schroeder, Alison Wylie, Kristen Intemann, Joyce Havstad, Justin Biddle, Kevin Elliott, and Ingo Brigandt.
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  28. Distributing epistemic and practical risks: a comparative study of communicating earthquake damages.Li-an Yu - 2022 - Synthese 360 (5):1-24.
    This paper argues that the value of openness to epistemic plurality and the value of social responsiveness are essential for epistemic agents such as scientists who are expected to carry out non-epistemic missions. My chief philosophical claim is that the two values should play a joint role in their communication about earthquake-related damages when their knowledge claims are advisory. That said, I try to defend a minimal normative account of science in the context of communication. I show that these epistemic (...)
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  29. The dangers of single-metric accounting in public policy.Johanna Thoma - 2021 - LSE Covid-19 Blog.
  30. Diversifying science: comparing the benefits of citizen science with the benefits of bringing more women into science.S. Andrew Schroeder - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-20.
    I compare two different arguments for the importance of bringing new voices into science: arguments for increasing the representation of women, and arguments for the inclusion of the public, or for “citizen science”. I suggest that in each case, diversifying science can improve the quality of scientific results in three distinct ways: epistemically, ethically, and politically. In the first two respects, the mechanisms are essentially the same. In the third respect, the mechanisms are importantly different. Though this might appear to (...)
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  31. Exploring the limits of dissent: the case of shooting bias.Manuela Fernandez Pinto & Anna Leuschner - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-19.
    The shooting bias hypothesis aims to explain the disproportionate number of minorities killed by police. We present the evidence mounting in support of the existence of shooting bias and then focus on two dissenting studies. We examine these studies in light of Biddle and Leuschner’s “inductive risk account of epistemically detrimental dissent” and conclude that, although they meet this account only partially, the studies are in fact epistemically and socially detrimental as they contribute to racism in society and to a (...)
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  32. On Social Robustness Checks on Science: What Climate Policymakers Can Learn from Population Control.Li-an Yu - 2022 - Social Epistemology 36 (4):436-448.
    In this paper, I provide policymakers, who rely on science to address their missions, with two arguments for improving science for social benefits. I argue for a refined concept of social robustness that can distinguish socially appropriate cases of political reliance on science from inappropriate ones. Both of the constituents are essential for evaluating the social suitability of science-relevant policy or action. Using four cases of population control, I show that socially inappropriate political reliance on science can make science epistemically (...)
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  33. Should Animal Welfare Be Defined in Terms of Consciousness?Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (5):1114-1123.
    Definitions of animal welfare often invoke consciousness or sentience. Marian Stamp Dawkins has argued that to define animal welfare this way is a mistake. In Dawkins’s alternative view, an animal with good welfare is one that is healthy and “has what it wants.” The dispute highlights a source of strain on the concept of animal welfare: consciousness-involving definitions are better able to capture the normative significance of welfare, whereas consciousness-free definitions facilitate the validation of welfare indicators. I reflect on how (...)
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  34. Science, Trust and Justice: More lessons from the Pandemic.Faik Kurtulmuş - 2022 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11 (6):11-17.
    Take a question like the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. Whether an ordinary citizen or a public official can acquire the correct answer to this question depends on the functioning of the epistemic basic structure of their society. The epistemic basic structure of a society consists of “the institutions that have a crucial role in the distribution of knowledge, that is, in the production and dissemination of knowledge, and in ensuring that people have the capability to assimilate what is (...)
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  35. Inductive Risk, Understanding, and Opaque Machine Learning Models.Emily Sullivan - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (5):1065-1074.
    Under what conditions does machine learning (ML) model opacity inhibit the possibility of explaining and understanding phenomena? In this article, I argue that nonepistemic values give shape to the ML opacity problem even if we keep researcher interests fixed. Treating ML models as an instance of doing model-based science to explain and understand phenomena reveals that there is (i) an external opacity problem, where the presence of inductive risk imposes higher standards on externally validating models, and (ii) an internal opacity (...)
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  36. An Ethical Framework for Presenting Scientific Results to Policy-Makers.S. Andrew Schroeder - 2022 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 32 (1):33-67.
    Scientists have the ability to influence policy in important ways through how they present their results. Surprisingly, existing codes of scientific ethics have little to say about such choices. I propose that we can arrive at a set of ethical guidelines to govern scientists’ presentation of information to policymakers by looking to bioethics: roughly, just as a clinician should aim to promote informed decision-making by patients, a scientist should aim to promote informed decision-making by policymakers. Though this may sound like (...)
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  37. Science, responsibility, and the philosophical imagination.Matthew Sample - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-19.
    If we cannot define science using only analysis or description, then we must rely on imagination to provide us with suitable objects of philosophical inquiry. This process ties our intellectual findings to the particular ways in which we philosophers think about scientific practice and carve out a cognitive space between real world practice and conceptual abstraction. As an example, I consider Heather Douglas’s work on the responsibilities of scientists and document her implicit ideal of science, defined primarily as an epistemic (...)
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  38. Explainable machine learning practices: opening another black box for reliable medical AI.Emanuele Ratti & Mark Graves - 2022 - AI and Ethics:1-14.
    In the past few years, machine learning (ML) tools have been implemented with success in the medical context. However, several practitioners have raised concerns about the lack of transparency—at the algorithmic level—of many of these tools; and solutions from the field of explainable AI (XAI) have been seen as a way to open the ‘black box’ and make the tools more trustworthy. Recently, Alex London has argued that in the medical context we do not need machine learning tools to be (...)
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  39. Designing grant-review panels for better funding decisions: Lessons from an empirically calibrated simulation model.Thomas Feliciani, Michael Morreau, Junwen Luo, Pablo Lucas & Kalpana Shankar - 2022 - Research Policy 51 (4):1-11.
    Objectives To explore how factors relating to grades and grading affect the correctness of choices that grant-review panels make among submitted proposals. To identify interventions in panel design that may be expected to increase the correctness of choices. -/- Method Experimentation with an empirically-calibrated computer simulation model of panel review. Model parameters are set in accordance with procedures at a national science funding agency. Correctness of choices among research proposals is operationalized as agreement with the choices of an elite panel. (...)
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  40. THOMAS KUHN’UN FELSEFESİ ve TÜRKİYE’YE YANSIMALARI.Rabia Karaköse - 2020 - Dissertation, Ankara Yildirim Beyazit Üni̇versi̇tesi̇
    This study investigates Thomas Kuhn’s philosophy that had broad influence in philosophy of science by his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and the contributions of his philosophy to Turkish philosophical literature. Kuhnian part of the picture of science debates brings to light considering the works done in Turkey upon the philosophy of Kuhn. In the first part of the thesis, T. Kuhn's life and works are mentioned. The second part focuses on Kuhn's philosophy of science and the concept of (...)
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  41. Function, Dysfunction, and the Concept of Mental Disorder.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2021 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 28 (4):371-375.
    Naturalistic accounts of mental disorder aim to identify an objective basis for attributions of mental disorder. This goal is important for demarcating genuine mental disorders from artificial or socially constructed disorders. The articulation of a demarcation criterion provides a means for assuring that attributions of 'mental disorder' are not merely pathologizing different forms of social deviance. The most influential naturalistic and hybrid definitions of mental disorder identify biological dysfunction as the objective basis of mental disorders: genuine mental...
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  42. The FDA Ought to Change Plan B’s Label.Christopher ChoGlueck - 2022 - Contraception 106.
    This commentary defends 3 arguments for changing the label of levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception (LNG EC) so that it no longer supports the possibility of a mechanism of action after fertilization. First, there is no direct scientific evidence confirming any postfertilization mechanisms. Second, despite the weight of evidence, there is still widespread public misunderstanding over the mechanism of LNG EC. Third, this FDA label is not a value-free claim, but instead it has functioned like a political tool for reducing contraceptive access. (...)
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  43. Underdetermination, holism, and feminist philosophy of science.Lynn Hankinson Nelson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-12.
    Appeals to some thesis of underdetermination, to the idea that scientific theories and hypotheses are not entailed by the evidence that supports them, are common in feminist philosophy of science. These appeals seek to understand and explain how androcentrism and other problematic approaches to gender have found their way into good science, as well as the reverse – how feminist approaches to gender and science that are also value-laden, can contribute to good science. Focusing on W.V. Quine’s positions on holism (...)
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  44. Were Lockdowns Justified? A Return to the Facts and Evidence.Philippe van Basshuysen & Lucie White - 2021 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 31 (4):405-428.
    Were governments justified in imposing lockdowns to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic? We argue that a convincing answer to this question is to date wanting, by critically analyzing the factual basis of a recent paper, “How Government Leaders Violated Their Epistemic Duties During the SARS-CoV-2 Crisis” (Winsberg et al. 2020). In their paper, Winsberg et al. argue that government leaders did not, at the beginning of the pandemic, meet the epistemic requirements necessitated to impose lockdowns. We focus on (...)
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  45. The Epistemic Duties of Philosophers: An Addendum.Philippe van Basshuysen & Lucie White - 2021 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 31 (4):447-451.
    We were slightly concerned, upon having read Eric Winsberg, Jason Brennan and Chris Surprenant’s reply to our paper “Were Lockdowns Justified? A Return to the Facts and Evidence”, that they may have fundamentally misunderstood the nature of our argument, so we issue the following clarification, along with a comment on our motivations for writing such a piece, for the interested reader.
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  46. Democratising Measurement: or Why Thick Concepts Call for Coproduction.Anna Alexandrova & Mark Fabian - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (1):1-23.
    Thick concepts, namely those concepts that describe and evaluate simultaneously, present a challenge to science. Since science does not have a monopoly on value judgments, what is responsible research involving such concepts? Using measurement of wellbeing as an example, we first present the options open to researchers wishing to study phenomena denoted by such concepts. We argue that while it is possible to treat these concepts as technical terms, or to make the relevant value judgment in-house, the responsible thing to (...)
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  47. The rise of logical empiricist philosophy of science and the fate of speculative philosophy of science.Joel Katzav & Krist Vaesen - 2022 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 12 (2):000-000.
    This paper contributes to explaining the rise of logical empiricism in mid-twentieth century (North) America and to a better understanding of American philosophy of science before the dominance of logical empiricism. We show that, contrary to a number of existing histories, philosophy of science was already a distinct subfield of philosophy, one with its own approaches and issues, even before logical empiricists arrived in America. It was a form of speculative philosophy with a concern for speculative metaphysics, normative issues relating (...)
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  48. When Is Scientific Dissent Epistemically Inappropriate?Boaz Miller - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):918-928.
    Normatively inappropriate scientific dissent prevents warranted closure of scientific controversies and confuses the public about the state of policy-relevant science, such as anthropogenic climate change. Against recent criticism by de Melo-Martín and Intemann of the viability of any conception of normatively inappropriate dissent, I identify three conditions for normatively inappropriate dissent: its generation process is politically illegitimate, it imposes an unjust distribution of inductive risks, and it adopts evidential thresholds outside an accepted range. I supplement these conditions with an inference-to-the-best-explanation (...)
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  49. Responsibility for Collective Epistemic Harms.Will Fleisher & Dunja Šešelja - 2023 - Philosophy of Science 90 (1):1-20.
    Discussion of epistemic responsibility typically focuses on belief formation and actions leading to it. Similarly, accounts of collective epistemic responsibility have addressed the issue of collective belief formation and associated actions. However, there has been little discussion of collective responsibility for preventing epistemic harms, particularly those preventable only by the collective action of an unorganized group. We propose an account of collective epistemic responsibility which fills this gap. Building on Hindriks' (2019) account of collective moral responsibility, we introduce the Epistemic (...)
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  50. Do Political Attitudes Matter for Epistemic Decisions of Scientists?Vlasta Sikimić, Tijana Nikitović, Miljan Vasić & Vanja Subotić - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (4):775-801.
    The epistemic attitudes of scientists, such as epistemic tolerance and authoritarianism, play important roles in the discourse about rivaling theories. Epistemic tolerance stands for the mental attitude of an epistemic agent, e.g., a scientist, who is open to opposing views, while epistemic authoritarianism represents the tendency to uncritically accept views of authorities. Another relevant epistemic factor when it comes to the epistemic decisions of scientists is the skepticism towards the scientific method. However, the question is whether these epistemic attitudes are (...)
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