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VALUES IN SCIENCE

Authors

  • Ernan McMullin

    1. Ernan McMullin (1924–2011) was a historian and philosopher of science from Ireland, but he worked for the larger part of his academic career at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN 46617, USA. This essay is his presidential address to the Philosophy of Science Association, reprinted with permission from that society. Originally the address appeared in PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, Vol. 1982, Volume Two: Symposia and Invited Papers (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983). Copyright 1983 by the Philosophy of Science Association; reprinted with permission.
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Abstract

Abstract In this essay, which was his presidential address to the Philosophy of Science Association, Ernan McMullin argued that the watershed between “classic” philosophy of science (by this meaning, not just logical positivism but the logicist tradition in theory of science stretching back through Kant and Descartes to Aristotle) and the “new” philosophy of science can best be understood by analyzing the change in our perception of the role played by values in science. He begins with some general remarks about the nature of value, goes on to explore some of the historical sources for the claim that judgement in science is value-laden, and concludes by reflecting on the implications of this claim for traditional views of the objectivity of scientific knowledge-claims.

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