The scope and limits of scientific objectivity

Philosophy of Science 71 (3):339-361 (2004)
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The aim of this paper is twofold: first to sketch a framework for classifying a wide range of conceptions of scientific objectivity and second to present and defend a conception of scientific objectivity that fills a neglected niche in the resulting hierarchy of viewpoints. Roughly speaking, the proposed ideal of scientific objectivity is effectiveness in the informal but technical sense of an effective method. Science progresses when "higher levels of communicative discourse" are reached by transforming subjective judgments regarding the generation and reduction of data or the testing of theories into objective decision procedures that are automatic or mechanical.



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