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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Science, Truth, and Democracy

Kitcher addresses the question by asking us to imagine a society with significant inequality. Science in a Democratic Society. Kitcher secures naturalism by describing the evolutionary, psychological, and anthropological foundations of the ethical project. Genuine Problems and the Significance of Science.

Print Save Cite Email Share. Don’t have an account? Democracy in Social and Political Philosophy. Oxford University Press Well-ordered certification requires that these value-judgments pass the test of ideal endorsement. Classical, Early, and Medieval Prose and Writers: One book is not going to change the culture my students inhabit, but Kitcher’s Science, Truth, and Democracy offers, if not optimism, at least a certain assurance that science is an ordinary human enterprise responsible to the concerns of the broader community.

Oxford University PressNov 8, – Science – pages. It’s time to abandon that theology too. The standards are determined by the Ur-democratic situation of tribal ethics, rendered in ideal terms and expanded to the “global tribe” including future generations and, maybe, sentient animals. Kitcher’s framing of the problem is a variation on familiar themes. Freedom of inquiry, he says, may be an important precondition of human well-being, but preventing such inquiries as the one that concludes for natural inferiority does something good.

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

In Science, Truth, and Democracythe determinants of significance were practical and epistemic value — ultimately cashed out in terms of instrumental rationality and the notoriously problematic “natural curiosity.


Science Logic and Mathematics. Perhaps students in philosophy of science would be the best audience, but because of the failures of engagement, it will be somewhat misleading as an introduction to these issues. Kitcher’s nuanced analysis and authorititative conclusion will interest countless scientists as well as all readers of science–scholars and laypersons alike. It thoroughly and clearly articulates a democratic ideal for society and for science in society, and gives practical recommendations following from that ideal.

Certification of a scientific claim as public knowledge requires that the relevant community of inquirers determine that the claim is true enough and significant enough. In a daring turn, he rejects both perspectives, working out a more realistic image of the sciences–one that allows for the possibility of scientific truth, but nonetheless permits social consensus to determine which avenues to investigate.

He has a personal story to tell. Even if much of this ground has been covered before, Kitcher’s contribution marks an important step.

It is too technical for a general audience or policymakers, not because the examples from science, democrcay Kitcher always explains clearly, but because at several points he chooses to present philosophical arguments in terms of formal probability theory.

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

Ethical conclusions should be accepted if and only if they would demicracy endorsed by an ideal conversation: Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. Ebook This title is available as an ebook. Philosophical Reflections on Biology. 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.


Throughout, Kitcher remains engaged with reason as he tries to understand, critically, the positions of realists, creationists, empiricists, and constructivists.

Science, Truth, and Democracy – Philip Kitcher – Google Books

Rottschaefer – – Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 3: The scientist qua scientist makes value judgments. It takes only a moment’s reflection to recognize that science is never pure, that it is always inextricably linked to its applications, that research is always linked to technology, and that we can expect the motives of scientists to be no more pure than the motives of the rest of us.

Request removal from index. 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. New York Review of BooksMay 9 Naturalizing or Demythologizing Scientific Inquiry: The last stand of value-freedom has been in the context of justification.

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. Heidi Grasswick – – Synthese 3: This leads to the problem that it is unclear who, exactly, is the audience for the book.

It enhances the capacity for free inquiry of those who are said to be naturally inferior. Ethical progress according to Kitcher is progress fromi. Ethical conclusions should be accepted if and only if they would be endorsed by an ideal conversation:.