Douglas on Values: From Indirect Roles to Multiple Goals

Publication Year:
2013
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9856
Author(s):
Elliott, Kevin
preprint description
In recent papers and a book, Heather Douglas has expanded on the well-known argument from inductive risk, thereby launching an influential contemporary critique of the value-free ideal for science. This paper distills Douglas’s critique into four major claims. The first three claims provide a significant challenge to the value-free ideal for science. However, the fourth claim, which delineates her positive proposal to regulate values in science by distinguishing direct and indirect roles for values, is ambiguous between two interpretations, and both have weaknesses. Fortunately, two elements of Douglas’s work that have previously received much less emphasis (namely, her comments about the goals of scientific activity and the ethics of communicating about values) provide resources for developing a more promising approach for regulating values in science.