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Bias in Science: Natural and Social

Synthese 199 (1-2):3345–3366 (2021)

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  1. Argumentation, Cognition, and the Epistemic Benefits of Cognitive Diversity.Renne Pesonen - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-17.
    The social epistemology of science would benefit from paying more attention to the nature of argumentative exchanges. Argumentation is not only a cognitive activity but a collaborative social activity whose functioning needs to be understood from a psychological and communicative perspective. Thus far, social and organizational psychology has been used to discuss how social diversity affects group deliberation by changing the mindset of the participants. Argumentative exchanges have comparable effects, but they depend on cognitive diversity and emerge through critical interaction. (...)
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  • Motivated Reasoning and the Ethics of Belief.Jon Ellis - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (6):e12828.
    Philosophy Compass, Volume 17, Issue 6, June 2022.
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  • Addressing the Reproducibility Crisis: A Response to Hudson.Heather Douglas & Kevin C. Elliott - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 53 (2):201-209.
    In this response to Robert Hudson’s article, “Should We Strive to Make Science Bias-Free? A Philosophical Assessment of the Reproducibility Crisis,” we identify three ways in which he misrepresents our work: he conflates value-ladenness with bias; he describes our view as one in which values are the same as evidential factors; and he creates a false dichotomy between two ways that values could be considered in science for policy. We share Hudson’s concerns about promoting scientific reproducibility and reducing bias in (...)
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  • Harnessing Moral Psychology to Reduce Meat Consumption.Joshua May & Victor Kumar - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    How can we make moral progress on factory farming? Part of the answer lies in human moral psychology. Meat consumption remains high, despite increased awareness of its negative impact on animal welfare. Weakness of will is part of the explanation: acceptance of the ethical arguments doesn’t always motivate changes in dietary habits. However, we draw on scientific evidence to argue that many consumers aren’t fully convinced that they morally ought to reduce their meat consumption. We then identify two key psychological (...)
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  • Moral Rationalism on the Brain.Joshua May - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    I draw on neurobiological evidence to defend the rationalist thesis that moral judgments are essentially dependent on reasoning, not emotions (conceived as distinct from inference). The neuroscience reveals that moral cognition arises from domain-general capacities in the brain for inferring, in particular, the consequences of an agent’s action, the agent’s intent, and the rules or norms relevant to the context. Although these capacities entangle inference and affect, blurring the reason/emotion dichotomy doesn’t preferentially support sentimentalism. The argument requires careful consideration of (...)
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  • Agency in Mental Disorder: Philosophical Dimensions.Matt King & Josh May (eds.) - 2022 - Oxford University Press.
    How exactly do mental disorders affect one’s agency? How might therapeutic interventions help patients regain or improve their autonomy? Do only some disorders excuse morally inappropriate behavior, such as theft or child neglect? Or is there nothing about having a disorder, as such, that affects whether we ought to praise or blame someone for their moral success or failure? Our volume gathers together empirically-informed philosophers who are well equipped to tackle such questions. Contributors specialize in free will, agency, and responsibility, (...)
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