Two Millian Arguments: Using Helen Longino’s Approach to Solve the Problems Philip Kitcher Targeted with His Argument on Freedom of Inquiry

Studia Philosophica Estonica 5 (1):44-63 (2012)

Authors
Jaana Eigi
University of Tartu
Abstract
Philip Kitcher argued that the freedom to pursue one's version of the good life is the main aim of Mill's argument for freedom of expression. According to Kitcher, in certain scientific fields, political and epistemological asymmetries bias research toward conclusions that threaten this most important freedom of underprivileged groups. Accordingly, Kitcher claimed that there are Millian grounds for limiting freedom of inquiry in these fields to protect the freedom of the underprivileged. -/- I explore Kitcher's argument in light of the interpretation Helen Longino gave to Mill's argument. She argued that free critical dialogue in the community allows bias to be overcome, through intersubjective criticism of hypotheses and the background assumptions that frame them. I suggest that Longino's approach allows for the identification of the fundamental problems of the research programs Kitcher targeted, and for the rejection of their claims to knowledge. Thus it is possible to address Kitcher's problem without limiting freedom of speech.
Keywords freedom of speech  Mill  Kitcher  Longino  social consequences of research
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DOI 10.12697/spe.2012.5.1.03
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On the Social Nature of Objectivity: Helen Longino and Justin Biddle.Jaana Eigi - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (3):449-463.
Was Feyerabend an Anarchist? The Structure of ‘Anything Goes’.Jamie Shaw - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 64:11-21.

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