, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 297–300 | Cite as

Let’s talk about objectivity: historical and philosophical contributions

Flavia Padovani, Alan Richardson and Jonathan Y. Tsou (eds): Objectivity in science: New perspectives from science and technology studies. Cham: Springer, 2015, vi+226pp, $129.00 HB
  • François Claveau
Book Review

This volume brings together two recent and rich strands of research on objectivity in science. The first strand is historical: It aims at understanding how the ideal of objectivity appeared and how its meanings have changed. The reference work for this research is Daston and Galison’s Objectivity (2007), which documents how an ideal of raw inscription of nature became prevalent in the mid-nineteenth century and how it contrasts with competing ideals. The second strand of research is more philosophical: It defends an ideal of objectivity. A common characteristic of contemporary accounts of objectivity is the rejection of value freedom as a necessary condition. The challenge is to come up with a compelling account of objectivity that, on the one hand, accepts that scientific conclusions are affected by social and moral values and, on the other, carves out room for some scientific conclusions to be nevertheless authoritative (thereby avoiding thoroughgoing relativism). A landmark work in...


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  2. Daston, Lorraine, and Peter Galison. 2007. Objectivity. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  3. Longino, Helen E. 1990. Science as social knowledge. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Longino, Helen E. 2002. The fate of knowledge. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département de philosophie et d’éthique appliquéeUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada

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