[SydPhil] Notification: Ingo Brigandt @ Thu 30 Apr 2015 15:00 - 16:30 (Current Projects)

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Wed Apr 29 15:00:08 AEST 2015

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Title: Ingo Brigandt
A Scientific Theory's Purpose: Social Values in Theory Acceptance Beyond  
Inductive Risk

Philosophical accounts of the role of values in science have clearly  
acknowledged that values, including social and environmental values, may  
guide the choice of research projects, the gathering of data, and the  
application of scientific knowledge. Yet I problematize the strategy of  
relegating social values to only some steps of research. Regarding the core  
of science, the acceptance the theories by evidence, it has been argued  
that social values can play a legitimate role, based on the notion of  
inductive risk (or also based on underdetermination). While such accounts  
assume that the role of values decreases when the amount of evidence  
increases, I argue for a stronger role of values in the context of theory  
acceptance. On this position, social, epistemic, and other values determine  
a theory's conditions of adequacy, which are standards that can include  
considerations about what would make a scientific model explanatory,  
significant, or complete. I illustrate this based on recent theories of  
human evolution and the social behaviour of primates, arguing that the  
social value of gender equity informs what counts as a complete theory in  
this domain, even for a theory of non-human primates. Most philosophical  
accounts of the role of values, including arguments from inductive risk and  
from underdetermination, have conceptualized theory acceptance primarily in  
terms of making inferences from evidence. Beyond this, my approach views a  
scientific theory as a tool developed by us for certain intellectual or  
practical purposes. Such a purpose (in some cases implicating social  
values) determines not only what investigative methodology is to be used  
and what kind of data is to be gathered, as prior philosophical accounts on  
values have recognized. Such a purpose also entails what kind of theory is  
intended and thus what the theory's conditions of adequacy are.

When: Thu 30 Apr 2015 15:00 - 16:30 Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney
Where: Muniment Room
Calendar: Current Projects
     * Kristie Miller- creator

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