In recent years, the value-freeness of science has come under extensive critique. Early objectors to the notion of value-free science can be found in Rudner (1953) and Churchman (1956), later objections occur in Leach (1968) and Gaa (1977), and more recent critics are Kitcher (2001), Douglas (2009), and Elliott (2011). The goal of this paper is to examine and critique two arguments opposed to the notion of a value-free science. The first argument, the uncertainty argument, cites the endemic uncertainty of science and concludes that values are needed to give direction to scientific investigation. The second, or moral argument, cites the fact that scientists have moral obligations just like everyone else, and concludes that the decision to accept a scientific conclusion incorporates values by taking these moral obligations into consideration. My goal is to undermine these...
Why We Should Not Reject the Value-Free Ideal of Science
Robert Hudson received his Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Science from the University of Western Ontario in 1992. He has taught at a number of universities throughout North America, and has been at the University of Saskatchewan since 2001. He works mainly in the areas of epistemology and the history and philosophy of science. His book Seeing Things was published in 2013 by Oxford University Press.
- Share Icon Share
- Views Icon Views
- Search Site
Robert Hudson; Why We Should Not Reject the Value-Free Ideal of Science. Perspectives on Science 2016; 24 (2): 167–191. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/POSC_a_00199
Download citation file: