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Value-free Science

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posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 09:24 PM
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I was just wondering what people thought about this.

The dominant view in scientific circles of the 20th century was a positivist one, which was based on a model of empirical knowledge that was either verifiable or falsifiable. The predominant notion was that knowledge is the practice of reason alone and that values have no place within this system. This leaves out emotion, affect, as well as specific interests, issues, enthusiams and condeminations. As a result of the verification/falsification requirements, values were/are said to interfere iwith the pursuit of truth, and the anti-metaphysical positivist model is said to remedy this.

What I'm wondering, however, is whether anyone thinks science can in fact be value free or value-neutral? Is it possible for a scientist to be value-free? Is it worth striving for?

What about potential biases(values) in the underlying assumptions and beliefs a scientist has when searching for the truth? Those beliefs/biases/values are given no epistemological relevance within the dominant positivist model, but I've no doubt they influence scientific enquiry.

What do you guys think of this?




posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 09:58 PM
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Science, just the science can easily be value free.

Doing science, getting funding, and carrying out experiments.... thats all very political.

Science is a pure thing that can be twisted and used for evil means just as a knife can cut your dinner or kill you.

Most scientist are good at keep bias away. Most people who claim to be scientist are not scientist. A lot of things called science aren't science.



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 10:05 PM
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Originally posted by Quest
Science, just the science can easily be value free.


What exactly do you mean when you say that, seeing as you've put experimentation into a separate sphere altogether.



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 10:07 PM
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Science is knowledge. Objective statement.

The scientific method. An objective process (kind of like "elections" are meant to be).

But a truly value free-science? This belongs in cryptozoology and mythology, like the Easter Bunny.



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 10:09 PM
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Science, as in the method of creating supportable/falsifiable statements and testing them... the concept of science and practise of science can be value free. But in the real world it take money, and thats where politics biases your experiments.

The concept of pure science is possible and has happened. But most of the "science" that goes on has political forces acting on it.

Its like pure water. You can have 100% H2O, but actually find some in nature is very rare because there are so many sources of contaminates.



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 10:12 PM
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Originally posted by Quest
Science, as in the method of creating supportable/falsifiable statements and testing them... the concept of science and practise of science can be value free. But in the real world it take money, and thats where politics biases your experiments.


What about the reasons (say, underlying biases, values, beliefs) that can shape the questions that are asked and the direction that the theorist takes?



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 10:12 PM
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Quest and I seem to be coming at this from the same angle but Quest has more numbers and lines in the avatar and background.



posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 10:13 PM
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Originally posted by parrhesia

Originally posted by Quest
Science, as in the method of creating supportable/falsifiable statements and testing them... the concept of science and practise of science can be value free. But in the real world it take money, and thats where politics biases your experiments.


What about the reasons (say, underlying biases, values, beliefs) that can shape the questions that are asked and the direction that the theorist takes?




The reasons are simple in pure science. Curiosity. It's what drove the first scientists and philosophers, it's one of the main drivers of Humanity IMHO.



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