Longino's Concept of Values in Science

Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 43 (1):3-31 (2021)
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While classical neo-positivists reject any role for traditionally understood values in science, Kuhn identifies five specific values as criteria for assessing a scientific theory; this approach has been further developed by several other authors. This paper focuses on Helen Longino, who presents a significant contemporary critique of Kuhn’s concept. The most controversial aspect of Longino’s position is arguably her claim that the criterion of empirical adequacy is the least defensible basis for assessing theories. The de-emphasizing of the importance of external consistency as a value and the introduction of socio-political considerations into the processes of an assessment of scientific theories are also considered problematic issues. I provide arguments against Longino’s conception, identify some of its problems, and argue for refusal of her approach.

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Miroslav Vacura
Prague University of Economics and Business


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