Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3661-3678 (2020)

Authors
Finnur Dellsén
University of Iceland
Abstract
It is often argued that while biases routinely influence the generation of scientific theories, a subsequent rational evaluation of such theories will ensure that biases do not affect which theories are ultimately accepted. Against this line of thought, this paper shows that the existence of certain kinds of biases at the generation-stage implies the existence of biases at the evaluation-stage. The key argumentative move is to recognize that a scientist who comes up with a new theory about some phenomena has thereby gained an unusual type of evidence, viz. information about the space of theories that could be true of the phenomena. It follows that if there is bias in the generation of scientific theories in a given domain, then the rational evaluation of theories with reference to the total evidence in that domain will also be biased.
Keywords bias in science  theory generation  context of discovery  context of justification  the problem of new theories
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-019-01387-w
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal.Heather Douglas - 2009 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
The Fate of Knowledge.Helen E. Longino - 2001 - Princeton University Press.

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