British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1187-1207 (2020)
AbstractWhen discussing scientific objectivity, many philosophers of science have recently focused on accounts that can be applied in practice when assessing the objectivity of something. It has become clear that in different contexts, objectivity is realized in different ways, and the many senses of objectivity recognized in the recent literature seem to be conceptually distinct. I argue that these diverse ‘applicable’ senses of scientific objectivity have more in common than has thus far been recognized. I combine arguments from philosophical discussions of trust, from negative accounts of objectivity, and from the recent literature on epistemic risks. When we call X objective, we endorse it: we say that we rely on X, and that others should do so too. But the word ‘objective’ is reserved for a specific type of reliance: it is based on the belief that important epistemic risks arising from our imperfections as epistemic agents have been effectively averted. All the positive senses of objectivity identify either some risk of this type, or some efficient strategy for averting one or more such risks.
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Citations of this work
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Skepticism and the Value of Distrust.Maria Baghramian & Silvia Caprioglio Panizza - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
References found in this work
Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry.Helen E. Longino (ed.) - 1990 - Princeton University Press.