Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-96qlp Total loading time: 0.68 Render date: 2022-12-01T21:37:45.201Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Moral Autonomy and the Rationality of Science

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 April 2022

James C. Gaa*
Affiliation:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Abstract

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.

Type
Special Section on Value Issues in Science, Technology, and Medicine
Copyright
Copyright © Philosophy of Science Association 1977

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

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.

References

[1] Ackoff, R. L.On a Science of Ethics.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 9 (1948/49): 663672.10.2307/2103297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[2] Bar-Hillel, Y.The Acceptance Syndrome.” In I. Lakatos (ed.). The Problem of Inductive Logic. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1968. Pages 150161.Google Scholar
[3] Baumol, W. J. and Oates, W. E. The Theory of Environmental Policy. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1975.Google Scholar
[4] Boffey, P. M.Experiment Planned to Test Feasibility of a Science Court.” Science 193 (1976): 129.10.1126/science.193.4248.129CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
[5] Brooks, H.Future Needs for the Support of Basic Research.” In S. A. Lakoff (ed.). Knowledge and Power. New York: The Free Press, 1966. Pages 432468.Google Scholar
[6] Carnap, R. Logical Foundations of Probability. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.Google Scholar
[7] Carnap, R.Replies and Expositions.” In P. A. Schilpp (ed.). The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap. La Salle: Open Court Press, 1963. Pages 8591013.Google Scholar
[8] Carnap, R.On Rules of Acceptance.” In I. Lakatos (ed.). The Problem of Inductive Logic. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1968. Pages 146150.Google Scholar
[9] Churchman, C. W. Prediction and Optimal Decision: Philosophical Issues of a Science of Values. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1961.Google Scholar
[10] Commoner, B. Science & Survival. New York: The Viking Press, 1967.Google Scholar
[11] Culliton, B. J.Kennedy: Pushing for More Public Input in Research.” Science 188 (1975): 11871189.10.1126/science.11643275CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
[12] Culliton, B. J.Recombinant DNA: Cambridge City Council Votes Moratorium.” Science 193 (1976): 300301.10.1126/science.11643322CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
[13] Gaa, J. On the Moral Autonomy of Science. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Washington University, 1975.Google Scholar
[14] Gaa, J.The Replacement of Scientific Theories: Reduction and Explication.” Philosophy of Science 42 (1975): 349372.10.1086/288658CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[15] Hempel, C. G.Empiricist Criteria of Cognitive Significance: Problems and Changes.” In C. G. Hempel, Aspects of Scientific Explanation. New York: The Free Press, 1965. Pages 101122.Google Scholar
[16] Hempel, C. G.Inductive Inconsistencies.” In C. G. Hempel, Aspects of Scientific Explanation. New York: The Free Press, 1965. Pages 5379.Google Scholar
[17] Hempel, C. G.Deductive-Nomological vs. Statistical Explanation.” In H. Feigl and G. Maxwell (eds.). Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Vol. III. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1962. Pages 98169.Google Scholar
[18] Hempel, C. G.Recent Problems of Induction.” In R. Colodny (ed.). Mind and Cosmos. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1966. Pages 112134.Google Scholar
[19] Hesburgh, T. M.Comments on ‘The Moral Un-Neutrality of Science.‘Science 133 (1961): 256259.Google Scholar
[20] Hilpinen, R. Rules of Acceptance and Inductive Logic. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1968.Google Scholar
[21] Jeffrey, R. C.Discussion: Valuation and Acceptance of Scientific Hypotheses.” Philosophy of Science 23 (1956): 237246.10.1086/287489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[22] Leach, J.Explanation and Value Neutrality.” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 19 (1968): 93108.10.1093/bjps/19.2.93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[23] Lehrer, K.Truth, Evidence, and Inference.” American Philosophical Quarterly 11 (1974): 7992.Google Scholar
[24] Levi, I. Gambling with Truth. Cambridge: The M.I.T. Press, 1973.Google Scholar
[25] Levi, I.Must the Scientist Make Value Judgments?Journal of Philosophy 57 (1960): 345357.10.2307/2023504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[26] Levi, I.On the Seriousness of Mistakes.” Philosophy of Science 29 (1962): 4765.10.1086/287841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[27] Levi, I.Utility and Acceptance of Hypotheses.” In S. Morgenbesser (ed.). Philosophy of Science Today. New York: Basic Books, 1967. Pages 115124.Google Scholar
[28] Luce, R. D. and Raiffa, H. Games and Decisions. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1957.Google Scholar
[29] McLaughlin, A.Science, Reason and Value.” Theory and Decision 1 (1970): 121137.10.1007/BF00154002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[30] Mishan, E. J.The Postwar Literature on Externalities: An Interpretative Essay.” Journal of Economic Literature 9 (1971): 128.Google Scholar
[31] Nagel, E. The Structure of Science. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1961.10.1119/1.1937571CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[32] Norris, K. and Vaizey, J. The Economics of Research and Technology. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1973.Google Scholar
[33] Price, D. K.Money and Influence: The Links of Science to Public Policy.” In G. Holton and W. Blanpied (eds.). Science and its Public: The Changing Relationship. Boston: D. Reidel, 1976. Pages 97113.10.1007/978-94-010-1887-6_7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[34] Rescher, N.Peirce and the Economy of Research.” Philosophy of Science 43 (1976): 7198.10.1086/288670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[35] Roberts, M. J.On the Nature and Condition of Social Science.” In G. Holton and W. Blanpied (eds.). Science and its Public: The Changing Relationship. Boston: D. Reidel, 1976. Pages 4764.10.1007/978-94-010-1887-6_4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[36] Rudner, R. S.The Scientist qua Scientist Makes Value Judgments.” Philosophy of Science 20 (1953): 16.10.1086/287231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[37] Rudner, R.Can Science Provide an Ethical Code?Humanist 18 (1958): 291298.Google Scholar
[38] Rudner, R.Nothing but the Truth.” Unpublished.Google Scholar
[39] Salmon, W. C.Who Needs Inductive Acceptance Rules?” In I. Lakatos (ed.). The Problem of Inductive Logic. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1968. Pages 2443.10.1016/S0049-237X(08)71042-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[40] Schooler, D. Jr. Science, Scientists, and Public Policy. New York: The Free Press, 1971.Google Scholar
[41] Sen, A. K. Collective Choice and Social Welfare. San Francisco: Holden-Day, 1970.Google Scholar
[42] Shils, E. (ed.). Criteria for Scientific Development: Public Policy and National Goals. Cambridge: The M.I.T. Press, 1968.Google Scholar
[43] Shils, E.Faith, Utility and the Legitimacy of Science.” In G. Holton and W. Blanpied (eds.). Science and its Public: The Changing Relationship. Boston: D. Reidel, 1976. Pages 115.Google Scholar
[44] Stetten, D. Jr.Freedom of Inquiry.” Science 189 (1975): 953.10.1126/science.189.4207.953CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
[45] Stever, H. G.Whither the NSF?—The Higher Derivatives.” Science 189 (1975): 264267.10.1126/science.189.4199.264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[46] United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Statistical Yearbook, 1972. Paris: Unesco, 1973.Google Scholar
[47] United States Bureau of the Census. Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1975. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1975.Google Scholar
[48] Wade, N.Recombinant DNA: The Last Look Before the Leap.” Science 192 (1976): 236238.10.1126/science.11643306CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
[49] Wilford, J. N.Science Considers Its Own ‘Court’.” The New York Times February 29, 1976: 8E.Google Scholar
11
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Moral Autonomy and the Rationality of Science
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Moral Autonomy and the Rationality of Science
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Moral Autonomy and the Rationality of Science
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *