Advertisement

Concepts, Values, and Scientific Measurements

  • Pierluigi Barrotta
Chapter
Part of the Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning book series (LARI, volume 16)

Abstract

Whereas in the first chapter I explained the illegitimate use of Hume’s ‘law’ in defence of value-free science, in this chapter we will begin to see positive arguments showing why science is not morally neutral. At least in some cases, moral values determine the meaning of the descriptive terms used in science. These terms, therefore, are both descriptive and evaluative. To understand this statement, I will explain the nature of the pragmatic maxim, by which the meaning of all concepts is established. The chapter concludes with an analysis of cognitive or epistemic values.

Keywords

Biodiversity Capabilities Entanglement (see fact/value dualism) Fact/value dualism, Hume’s fork Meaning (m. of objects, m. of ideas, connotation, denotation, see pragmatic maxim) Philosophical fallacy Pragmatic maxim Science (pure and applied; as an activity vs. as a system of assertions) Species Technology (language as a t.) Thick and thin Concepts Value-free science Values (moral, cognitive) Welfare economics 

References

  1. Agapow, P. M., et al. (2004). The impact of species concept on biodiversity studies. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 79, 161–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agazzi, E. (1992). Il bene, il male e la scienza. Milano: Rusconi.Google Scholar
  3. Ayer, A. (1946). Language, truth, and logic (1st ed., 1936). London: Victor Gollancz.Google Scholar
  4. Barrotta, P. (1998). La dialettica scientifica. Per un nuovo razionalismo critico. Turin: UTET-libreria.Google Scholar
  5. Barrotta, P. (2000). Scientific dialectics in action. The case of Joseph Priestley. In P. Machamer, A. Baltas, & M. Pera (Eds.), Scientific controversies (pp. 154–176). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Barrotta, P. (2008). Why economists should be unhappy with the economics of happiness. Economics and Philosophy, 24, 145–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barrotta, P. (2011). James lovelock, Gaia theory, and the rejection of fact/value dualism. Environmental Philosophy, 8(2), 95–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blackburn, S. (1981). Rule-following and moral realism. In S. Holtzman & C. Leich (Eds.), Wittgenstein: To follow a rule (pp. 163–187). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  9. Blackburn, S. (1992). Morality and thick concepts: Through thick and thin. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume, 66, 285–299.Google Scholar
  10. Blackburn, S. (2013). Disentangling Disentangling. In S. Kirchin (Ed.), Thick concepts (pp. 121–135). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Crocker, T. P. (1998). Wittgenstein’s practices and Peirce’s habits. Agreement in human activity. History of Philosophy Quarterly, 15(4), 457–493.Google Scholar
  12. Dewey, J. (1916). What pragmatism means by practical. In Dewey (1998). The essential Dewey (Vol. 1 & 2). L. Hickman & T. Alexander (Eds.). Bloomigton/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. (Vol. 2, pp. 377–386).Google Scholar
  13. Dewey, J. (1925). Experience and nature. In Dewey (1969–1991). The collected works. J. A. Boydstone (Ed.). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. (The later works, Vol. 1).Google Scholar
  14. Dewey, J. (1938). Logic: The theory of inquiry. In Dewey (1969–1991). The collected works. (The later works, Vol. 12).Google Scholar
  15. Foot, P. (1958a). Moral arguments. In Virtues and vices (2002, pp. 96–109). Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Foot, P. (1958b–1959). Moral beliefs. In Virtues and vices (2002, pp. 110–131). Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gibbard, A. (1992). Morality and thick concepts. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary volumes, 66, 267–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hickman, L. (1990). Dewey’s pragmatic technology. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hume, D. (1964). An enquiry concerning human understanding, 1777. In T. H. Green & T. H. Grose (Eds.), Philosophical works (Vol. 4, pp. 3–135). Aalen: Scientia Verlag.Google Scholar
  20. James, W. (1907). Pragmatism. A new name for some old ways of thinking. Popular Lectures on Philosophy. In Pragmatism and the meaning of truth. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  21. Kirchin, S. (Ed.). (2013). Thick concepts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Kuhn, T. (1970). The structure of scientific revolutions (1st ed., 1962). Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  23. Kuhn, T. (1977). Objectivity, value judgment, and theory choice. In The essential tension (pp. 320–339). Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  24. Lacey, H. (2005). Is science value free? Values and scientific understanding (1st ed., 1999). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. LaFollete, H., & Shanks, N. (1996). Brute science: The dilemmas of animal experimentation. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Laudan, L. (1984). Science and values. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  27. Maclaurin, J., & Sterelny, K. (2008). What is biodiversity? Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  28. Mayr, E. (1997). This is biology. The science of the living world. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  29. McDowell, J. (1981). Non-cognitivism and rule-following. In S. Holtzman & C. Leich (Eds.), Wittgenstein: To follow a rule. London: Routldge and Kegan Paul, 1981: 141–162.Google Scholar
  30. Merchant, C. (1980). The death of nature. Women, ecology, and the scientific revolution. San Francisco: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  31. Minelli, A. (1993). Biological systematics. The state of art. London: Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar
  32. Mongin, P. (2006). Value judgments and value neutrality in economics. Economica, 73, 257–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Murdoch, I. (1970). The sovereignty of good. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  34. Negrotti, M. (2011). Scienza, tecnologia e ambivalenze etiche. In P. Barrotta, G. O. Longo, & M. Negrotti (Eds.), Scienza, tecnologia e valori morali (pp. 82–96). Roma: Armando.Google Scholar
  35. Peirce, C. S. (1878). How to make our ideas clear. In Peirce (1931–5). Collected papers. C. Hartshorne & P. Weiss (Eds.). Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press. (Vol. V, pp. 248–271).Google Scholar
  36. Peirce, C. S. (1905a). What pragmatism is. In Peirce (1931–5). Collected papers (Vol. V, pp. 272–292).Google Scholar
  37. Peirce, C. S. (1905b). Issues of pragmaticism. In Peirce (1931–5). Collected papers (Vol. V, pp. 293–313).Google Scholar
  38. Pera, M. (1994). The discourses of science. Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  39. Pera, M., & Shea, W. R. (Eds.). (1991). Persuading science: The art of scientific rhetoric. Canton, MA: Science History Publications.Google Scholar
  40. Putnam, H. (1990). Realism with a human face. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Putnam, H. (1992). Il pragmatismo: una questione aperta (Italian original ed.). Rome/Bari: Laterza.Google Scholar
  42. Putnam, H. (2002). The collapse of the fact/value dichotomy and other essays. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Rorty, R. (1961). Pragmatism, categories, and language. The Philosophical Review, 70(2), 197–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rorty, R. (1982). Consequences of pragmatism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  45. Russell, B. (1997). Religion and science (1st ed., 1935). New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Sarkar, S. (2005). Biodiversity and environmental philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Scheffler, S. (1987). Morality, through thick and thin. A critical notice of ethics and the limits of philosophy. The Philosophical Review, xcvi(3), 411–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sen, A. (1985). The standard of living: Concepts and critiques. In G. Hawthorn (Ed.), The Tunner lectures. Cambridge: Clare Hall.Google Scholar
  49. Sen, A. (1992). Inequality reexamined. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Väyrynen, P. (2013). The lewd, the rude, and the nasty. A study of thick concepts in ethics. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Williams, B. (1985). Ethics and the limits of philosophy. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Wilson, E. O. (2001). The diversity of life (1st ed., 1992). London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierluigi Barrotta
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civilizations and Forms of KnowledgeUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

Personalised recommendations