Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 April 2022
The few extant arguments concerning the autonomy of science in the rational acceptance of hypotheses are examined. It is concluded that science is not morally autonomous, and that the attendant notion of rationality in science decisionmaking is inadequate. A more comprehensive notion of scientific rationality, which encompasses the old one, is proposed as a replacement. The general idea is that scientists qua scientist ought, in their acceptance decisions, to take into account the ethical consequences of acceptance as well as the consequences with regard to the attainment of “purely scientific” or “epistemic” objectives. The result constitutes an argument for a (presumably cooperative) game theoretic treatment of inductive logic.
I wish to acknowledge my good fortune in being able to discuss with Richard Rudner many aspects of the relations between science and society, some of the fruits of which appear here. I have also benefitted from discussions with Edward F. McClennen and Ann Palmeri.