Good science and good philosophy of science

Synthese 104 (3):423 - 439 (1995)
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Abstract

I argue against the assumption that the influence of non-cognitive values must lead to bad science, opening the way for the thesis that non-cognitive values are compatible with good science. This, in turn, allows us to answer feminist questions, principally, How do gender politics influence science? without (1) having to reject the question a priori because theories of science assume that political values cannot influence good scientific work and (2) having made a case for the influence of gender politics upon a particular bit of scientific work, being put into the ludicrous position of saying that it is bad science after all, even though the relevant community of scientists say it is good. Nevertheless, moral and political neutrality is held to be a norm of good science and a tacit metaphilosophical norm governing good philosophy of science, viz., a good philosophy of science reveals and analyzes the morally and politically neutral production of good science. This metaphilosophical norm insures that the philosophy of science (1) is blind to the influence of non-cognitive values on good science if and when these are present and so (2) acquiesces in the moral or political arrangements supported by the science in question.

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