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Science and values



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LACEY , H. . Science and values. Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofia, Campinas, SP, v. 22, n. 2, p. 165–203, 1999. Disponível em: Acesso em: 2 abr. 2023.


The widely endorsed idea that science is (or ought to be) value free is best articulated as compounded of there views: “impartiality” (a view about the grounds for accepting and applying theories), “neutrality” (about the consequences of accepting and applying theories), and “autonomy” (about the conduct of scientific practices and the character of scientific institutions). I will presente statements of these these three views (following my recently published: Is Science Value Free? Values and Scientific Understanding). Then, I will argue that, while autonomy cannot be soundly defended and that neutrality is normally lacking, impartiality should be upheld as a valid ideal of scientific parctice. Social and moral values do indeed play a central role in scientific practice at the moment of adoption of research “strategies”, where theories are constrained and empirical data selected, but not at the momento f concrete choice of theory, where impartiality should not be by-passed. This permits that there be a variety of strategies, each of which reflects a diferente value commitment, under which theories may be generated and eventually impartially accepted, and that it can be legitimate to raise questions, at the center of scientific practice, about the role (and possible roles) of Science in serving human well-bering.



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