Inductive risk and the contexts of communication

Synthese 192 (1):79-96 (2015)
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Abstract

In recent years, the argument from inductive risk against value free science has enjoyed a revival. This paper investigates and clarifies this argument through means of a case-study: neonicitinoid research. Sect. 1 argues that the argument from inductive risk is best conceptualised as a claim about scientists’ communicative obligations. Sect. 2 then shows why this argument is inapplicable to “public communication”. Sect. 3 outlines non-epistemic reasons why non-epistemic values should not play a role in public communicative contexts. Sect. 4 analyses the implications of these arguments both for the specific case of neonicitinoid research and for understanding the limits of the argument from inductive risk. Sect. 5 sketches the broader implications of my claims for understanding the “Value Free Ideal” for science

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Stephen John
Cambridge University

Citations of this work

The new demarcation problem.Bennett Holman & Torsten Wilholt - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 91 (C):211-220.
Democratic Values: A Better Foundation for Public Trust in Science.S. Andrew Schroeder - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (2):545-562.
Science and Policy in Extremis: The UK’s Initial Response to COVID-19.Jonathan Birch - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):90.

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References found in this work

Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal.Heather Douglas - 2009 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.

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