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Defending a Risk Account of Scientific Objectivity

Koskinen, Inkeri (2018) Defending a Risk Account of Scientific Objectivity. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

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Abstract

When discussing scientific objectivity, many philosophers of science have recently focused on accounts that can be applied in practice when assessing the objectivity of something. It has become clear that in different contexts, objectivity is realized in different ways, and the many senses of objectivity recognized in the recent literature seem to be conceptually distinct. I argue that these diverse 'applicable' senses of scientific objectivity have more in common than has thus far been recognized. I combine arguments from philosophical discussions of trust, from negative accounts of objectivity, and from the recent literature on epistemic risks. When we call X objective, we endorse it: we say that we rely on X, and that others should do so too. But the word 'objective' is reserved for a specific type of reliance: it is based on the belief that important epistemic risks arising from our imperfections as epistemic agents have been effectively averted. All the positive senses of objectivity identify either some risk of this type, or some efficient strategy for averting one or more such risks.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Koskinen, Inkeriinkeri.koskinen@helsinki.fi0000-0002-9060-7011
Keywords: scientific objectivity, epistemic risks, trust, reliance, epistemic agency
Subjects: General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Dr. Inkeri Koskinen
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2018 11:51
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2018 11:51
Item ID: 14890
Journal or Publication Title: The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Subjects: General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14890

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