Science, biases, and the threat of global pessimism

Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S467- (2001)
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Philip Kitcher rejects the global pessimists' view that the conclusions reached in inquiry are determined by the interests of some segment of the population, arguing that only some inquiries, for example, inquiries into race and gender, are adversely affected by interests. I argue that the biases Kitcher believes affect such inquiries are operative in all domains, but the prevalence of such biases does not support global pessimism. I argue further that in order to address the global pessimists' concerns, the scientific community needs criticism from people with diverse interests and background assumptions.

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K. Brad Wray
Aarhus University


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