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Social Values Influence the Adequacy Conditions of Scientific Theories: Beyond Inductive Risk

Brigandt, Ingo (2015) Social Values Influence the Adequacy Conditions of Scientific Theories: Beyond Inductive Risk. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

The ‘death of evidence’ issue in Canada raises the specter of politicized science, and thus the question of what role social values may have in science and how this meshes with objectivity and evidence. I first criticize philosophical accounts that have to separate different steps of research to restrict the influence of social and other non-epistemic values. A prominent account that social values may play a role even in the context of theory acceptance is the argument from inductive risk. It maintains that the more severe the social consequences of erroneously accepting a theory would be, the more evidence is needed before the theory may be accepted. However, an implication of this position is that increasing evidence makes the impact of social values converge to zero; and I argue for a stronger role for social values. On this position, social values (together with epistemic values and other empirical considerations) may determine a theory’s conditions of adequacy, which among other things can include considerations about what makes a scientific account unbiased and complete. I illustrate this based on recent theories of human evolution and the social behaviour of non-human primates, where some of the social values implicated are feminist values. While many philosophical accounts (both arguments from inductive risk and from underdetermination) conceptualize the relevance of social values in terms of making inferences from evidence, I argue for the need for a broader philosophical framework, which is also motivated by issues pertaining to scientific explanation.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Brigandt, Ingo
Additional Information: Penultimate draft of a paper forthcoming in the Canadian Journal of Philosophy
Keywords: epistemic values; social values; feminist values; androcentrism; inductive risk; theory acceptance; adequacy conditions; explanation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Feminist Approaches
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Ingo Brigandt
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2015 13:36
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2015 13:36
Item ID: 11597
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Feminist Approaches
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2015
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11597

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