Underdetermination and Theory-Ladenness Against Impartiality

ProtoSociology 32:216-234 (2015)
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The aim of this paper is to show that science, understood as pure research, ought not to be affected by non-epistemic values and thus to defend the traditional ideal of value-free science. First, we will trace the distinction between science and technology, arguing that science should be identified with pure research and that any non-epistemic concern should be di­rected toward technology and technological research. Second, we will examine different kinds of values and the roles they can play in scientific research to argue that science understood as pure research is mostly and in any case ought to be value-free. Third, we will consider and dismiss some widespread arguments that aim to defend, especially at a normative level, the inevitable value-ladenness of science. Finally, we will briefly return to the connections among science, technology, and values.

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Nicla Vassallo
University of Genoa


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