Skip to main content

Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Values in Science: Rethinking the Dichotomy

  • Chapter

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI,volume 256)

Abstract

Underdetermination arguments support the conclusion that no amount of empirical data can uniquely determine theory choice. The full content of a theory outreaches those elements of it (the observational elements) that can be shown to be true (or in agreement with actual observations).2 A number of strategies have been developed to minimize the threat such arguments pose to our aspirations to scientific knowledge. I want to focus on one such strategy: the invocation of additional criteria drawn from a pool of cognitive or theoretical values, such as simplicity or generality, to bolster judgements about the worth of models, theories, and hypotheses. What is the status of such criteria? Larry Laudan, in Science and Values, argued that cognitive values could not be treated as self-validating, beyond justification, but are embedded in a three-way reticulational system containing theories, methods, and aims or values, which are involved in mutually supportive relationships (Laudan, 1984). My interest in this paper is not the purportedly self-validating nature of cognitive values, but their cognitive nature. Although Laudan rejects the idea that what he calls cognitive values are exempt from rational criticism and disagreement, he does seem to think that the reticulational system he identifies is independent of non-cognitive considerations. It is this cognitive/non-cognitive distinction that I wish to query in this paper. Let me begin by summarizing those of my own views about inquiry in which this worry about the distinction arises.

Keywords

  • Human Genome Project
  • Empirical Adequacy
  • Epistemic Virtue
  • Theoretical Virtue
  • External Consistency

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is an expanded and revised version of the essay “Gender, Politics, and the Theoretical Virtues” (Longino, 1995). I am grateful to members of the Philosophy Departments at Carleton College, St. Olaf College, the University of Toronto, the History and Philosophy of Science Department at Indiana University and the Committee on the Conceptual Foundations of Science at the University of Chicago for their comments, and to Marta Gonzalez-Garcia and Lynn Hankinson Nelson for their instructive readings of earlier drafts of the essay.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-009-1742-2_3
  • Chapter length: 20 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-94-009-1742-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   269.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Altmann, Jeanne: 1974, ‘Observational Study of Behavior: Sampling Methods’,Behavior, 49, 227–67.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  2. Bleier, Ruth: 1983,Science and Gender. Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Brush, Stephen, Peter Achinstein, and Abner Shimony: 1995, Symposium: ‘Do Explanations or Predictions (or Neither) Provide More Evidential Support for Scientific Theories?’ David Hull, Mickey Forbes and Richard Burian (eds),PSA 1994, Vol. 2. East Lansing, MI: Philosophy of Science Association.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Cartwright, Nancy: 1987,How the Laws of Physics Lie. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Cartwright, Nancy: 1995, ‘The Dappled World’, in Mickey Forbes and Richard Burian (eds),PSA 1994, Vol 2. East Lansing, MI: Philosophy of Science Association.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Churchland, Paul: 1985, ‘The Ontological Status of Observables: In Praise of the Superempirical Virtues’, in Paul Churchland and Clifford Hooker (eds),Images of Science. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  7. England, Paula: 1993, ‘The Separative Self: Androcentric Bias in Neo-Classical Assumptions’, in Marianne Ferber and Julie Nelson (eds),Beyond Economic Man. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Fausto-Sterling, Anne: 1985,Myths of Gender. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Ginzberg, Ruth: 1987, ‘Uncovering Gynecentric Science’,Hypatia, 89–106.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Gould, Stephen: 1986, ‘Review of Bleier Science and Gender’. New York Review of Books.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Haraway, Donna: 1986, ‘Primatology is Politics by Other Means’, in Ruth Bleier (ed.),Feminist Approaches to Science. Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Haraway, Donna: 1991,Simians, Cyborgs, and Women. New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Haraway, Donna: 1992, ‘The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Innappropriate/d Others’, in L. Grossberg, C. Nelson, and P. Treichler (eds),Cultural Studies. New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Harding, Sandra: 1986,The Science Question in Feminism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Keller, Evelyn F.: 1983,A Feeling for the Organism. San Francisco, CA: W. H. Freeman and Company.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Keller, Evelyn F.: 1985,Reflections on Gender and Science. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Keller, Evelyn F.: 1992, ‘Nature, Nurture, and the Human Genome Project’, in Daniel Kevles and Leroy Hood (eds),The Code of Codes: Scientific and Legal Issues in the Human Genome Project. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Kitcher, Philip: 1993,The Advancement of Science. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Kuhn, Thomas: 1977,The Essential Tension. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Laudan, Larry: 1984,Science and Values. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Laudan, Larry: 1990, ‘Demystifying Underdetermination’, in C. Wade Savage (ed.),Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. XIV: Scientific Theories. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Levins, Richard and Lewontin, Richard: 1985,The Dialectical Biologist. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Lloyd, Elisabeth: 1994, ‘Normality and Variation’, in Carl Cranor, (ed.),Are Genes Us? The Social Consequences of the Human Genome Project. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Longino, Helen E.: 1987, ‘What’s Really Wrong with Quantitative Risk Analysis’, in Arthur Fine and Peter Machamer (eds),PSA 1986, Vol. 2. East Lansing, MI: Philosophy of Science Association.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Longino, Helen E.: 1990,Science as Social Knowledge. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Longino, Helen E.: 1993a, ‘Subjects, Power, and Knowledge: Description and Prescription in Feminist Philosophies of Science’, in Linda Alcoff and Elizabeth Potter (eds),Feminist Epistemologies. New York; Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Longino, Helen E.: 1993b, ‘The Relevance of Gender to the Philosophy of Science’, in M. Forbes, A. Fine and K. Okruhlik (eds),PSA 1992 ,Vol. 2. East Lansing, MI: Philosophy of Science Association.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Longino, Helen E.: 1994, ‘In Search of Feminist Epistemology’,The Monist, 77, no. 4.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Longino, Helen E.: 1995, ‘Gender, Politics, and the Theoretical Virtues’,Synthese (October).

    Google Scholar 

  30. Margolis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan: 1986,Origins of Sex: Three Billion Years of Genetic Recombination. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Martin, Emily: 1991, ‘Egg and Sperm’,Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 16, 3.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  32. McMullin, Ernan: 1983, ‘Values in Science’, in P. D. Asquith and T. Nickles (eds),PSA 1982 ,Vol. 2. East Lansing, MI: Philosophy of Science Association.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Quine, Willard. V. and J. S. Ullian: 1978,The Web of Belief, 2nd edn. New York: Random House.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Rolin, Kristina (unpublished ms) ‘Gender and Scientific Knowledge in High Energy Physics’.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Rose, Hillary: 1983, ‘Hand, Brain, and Heart: A Feminist Epistemology for the Natural Sciences’,Signs, 9, no. 1, 73–90.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  36. Sen, Gita and Caren, Grown: 1987,Development, Crisis, and Alternative Visions. New York: Monthly Review Press.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Sperling, Susan: 1991, ‘Baboons with Briefcases: Feminism, Functionalism and Sociobiology in the Evolution of Primate Gender’,Signs, 17, no. 1.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Strassman, Diana: 1993, ‘Not A Free Market: The Rhetoric of Disciplinary Authority in Economies’, in Marianne Ferber and Julie Nelson (eds),Beyond Economic Man. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Tiles, Mary: 1987, ‘A Science of Mars or a Science of Venus?’,Philosophy, 62.

    Google Scholar 

  40. van Fraassen, Bas: 1980,The Scientific Image. New York: Oxford University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  41. van Fraassen, Bas: 1983, ‘Theory Comparison and Relevant Evidence’, in John Earman (ed.),Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. X: Testing Scientific Theories. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

    Google Scholar 

  42. van Fraassen, Bas: 1989,Laws and Symmetry. New York: Oxford University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 1996 Kluwer Academic Publishers

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Longino, H.E. (1996). Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Values in Science: Rethinking the Dichotomy. In: Nelson, L.H., Nelson, J. (eds) Feminism, Science, and the Philosophy of Science. Synthese Library, vol 256. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-1742-2_3

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-1742-2_3

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-7923-4611-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-009-1742-2

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive