Scientific change as political action: Franz Boas and the anthropology of race

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (1):24-45 (2007)
Abstract
A theory is value-neutral when no constitutive values are part of its content. Nonneutral theories seem to lack objectivity because it is not clear how the constitutive values could be empirically confirmed. This article analyzes Franz Boas’s famous arguments against nineteenth-century evolutionary anthropology and racial theory. While he recognized that talk of "higher civilizations" encoded a constitutive, political value with consequences for slavery and colonialism, he argued against it on empirical and methodological grounds. Boas’s arguments thus provide a model of how, under the right conditions, scientific inquiry can provide empirically objective grounds for political critique. Key Words: value-freedom • Franz Boas • race • objectivity • neutrality.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0048393106296541
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,178
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

242 ( #13,942 of 2,153,578 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #279,963 of 2,153,578 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums