Science, Truth, and Democracy. Philip Kitcher. Abstract. What should be the goal of science in a democratic society? Some say, to attain the truth; others deny. Kitcher, Philip, Science, Truth, and Democracy (Oxford Studies in the Philos- Because science policy has been relatively shielded from open democratic. Striving to boldly redirect the philosophy of science, this book by renowned philosopher Philip Kitcher examines the heated debate surrounding the role of.

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Philip Kitcher Columbia University.

Classical, Early, and Medieval Poetry and Poets: He phrases his affirmation carefully: Oxford University PressNov 8, – Science – pages.

He rather focuses on the democratic values or ideals of freedom and equality — and one may have superficially democratic procedures that fail to kiycher realize the ideals of freedom and equality.

Find it on Scholar. The book can be divided into three parts.


Genuine Problems and the Significance of Science. Science and the Common Good: Science, Truth, and Democracy. Living with Darwin Philip Kitcher. History of Western Philosophy. Bibliographic Information Print publication date: Second, Kitcher describes Richard Rudner’s argument that there are often foreseeable consequences of being right or wrong in scientific practice, and we ought, ethically, to weigh those consequences in deciding our standards for acceptance or rejection of hypotheses.

It’s time to abandon that theology too. We see the erosion of scientific authority in the American anti-Darwinism movement, the European opposition to GMOs, and the worldwide controversy over climate science. Even if much of this ground has been covered before, Kitcher’s contribution marks an important step. Longino – – Philosophy of Science 69 4: He gives a sociobiological account of the origins of human altruism, along with a speculative anthropological account of the origin and development of ethical rules, as a kind of “social technology” for dealing with failures of altruism.

Science, Truth, and Democracy – Paperback – Philip Kitcher – Oxford University Press

Ideal transparency has to do with whether the public can appreciate the methods of knowledge-production well enough to trust the relevant community of inquirers. Search my Subject Specializations: Controversial, powerful, yet engaging, this volume will appeal to a wide range of readers.


The scientist qua scientist makes value judgments. Suppose a scientific investigation within that society were to conclude that those on the bottom are there because of natural inferiority. Defenders of value-free science may admit that the choice to follow one research project rather than another is value-laden, and though historically there has been opposition to the idea of external direction of scientific research, in the end it does not get at the heart of scientific practice, which could remain value-neutral.

Though a working group of “committed and knowledgeable people from a number of different fields” was assembled to consider these moral implications, the NIH denied the group funds, and its chair resigned.

Just as the maps we make reveal the interests of our societies, so scientists, confronted with a potential infinity of things to study, “address the issues that are significant for people at a particular stage in the evolution of human culture. They would simply intensify the state of inferiority. The problem is the result of the twin forces of scientismwhich in overreaching undermines the credibility of serious science, and politicization of science by those who feel alienated by science or can profit from eroding science’s authority.

Kitcher explores the sharp divide between those who believe that the pursuit of scientific knowledge is always valuable and necessary–the purists–and those who believe that it invariably serves the interests of people in positions of power.

Science, Truth, and Democracy – Oxford Scholarship

Dewey, on the other hand, would prefer structures of actual engagement that approximated the ideal democratic procedures, even if the results deviated vemocracy from the results of ideal endorsement. Kitcher radically extends the agenda of his earlier work, Science, Truth, and Democracywhich sought to provide a framework for determining the role of values in determining the ideal research agenda for science in a democratic society.

Second, major scientific controversies involve value-laden disagreements, but their resolution is reasonable because as each side tries to create consistent representations and schemes of values, one side becomes untenable. Democracy and Public Space John R. When government funding was sought for research on the human genome, James Watson argued that three percent of the funds should be set aside for investigating the “ethical, legal, and social implications” of the work, ELSI for anf.


Rottschaefer – – Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 3: Kitcher’s answer to 1 requires deference to scientific experts where appropriate, but also includes the view that when it comes to value-judgments, no one is an expert.

Where Science, Truth, and Democracy focused on the aims of science, Science in a Democratic Society considers the acceptance of scientific claims, their application and dissemination, and the role of diversity and dissent within science as well as public dissent about science. Science as social knowledge: Three The Ideal of Objectivity.

He then proposes a democratic and deliberative framework for responsible scientists to follow. Tying the objectivity of science to freedom from values is based on the mistaken idea that value-judgments are arbitrary and subjective, the idea that value-judgment is not really a form of judgment, but merely an expression of preferences.

Philip Kitcher, “Science, Truth, and Democracy”

This book is available as part of Oxford Scholarship Online – view abstracts and keywords at book and chapter level. There is, he tells us, no kitchher thing as an ideal science that gives scientists the right to soar above the concerns of society. Striving to boldly redirect the philosophy of science, this book by renowned philosopher Philip Kitcher examines the heated debate surrounding the role of science in shaping our lives.

Meanwhile the research goes on, unquestioned and unchecked by any moral or social influence beyond the personal sense of responsibility of individual researchers and those who apply their conclusions.