The role of cognitive values in the shaping of scientific rationality

In Evandro Agazzi (ed.), Science and Ethics. The Axiological Contexts of Science. (Series: Philosophy and Politics. Vol. 14. Vienna: P.I.E. Peter Lang. pp. 125-140 (2008)
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It is not so long ago that philosophers and scientists thought of science as an objective and value-free enterprise. But since the heyday of positivism, it has become obvious that values, norms, and standards have an indispensable role to play in science. You may even say that these values are the real issues of the philosophy of science. Whatever they are, these values constrain science at an ontological, a cognitive, a methodological, and a semantic level for the purpose of making science a rational pursuit of knowledge. I think, however, that a good place to look for them is in the rise of quantum mechanics and in the debate between Bohr and Einstein on its interpretation, not because similar cognitive values are not shaping scientific rationality elsewhere, but because they surface in the debate whenever a new revolutionary paradigm is about to take over the scene.

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Jan Faye
University of Copenhagen

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References found in this work

The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Atomic theory and the description of nature.Niels Bohr - 1934 - Woodbridge, Conn.: Ox Bow Press.
The Essential Tension.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (4):649-652.

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