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Value-Free Science?Ideals and Illusions$
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Harold Kincaid, John Dupré, and Alison Wylie

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195308969

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195308969.001.0001

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 Contextualist Morals and Science

 Contextualist Morals and Science

(p.218) 10 Contextualist Morals and Science
Value-Free Science?

Harold Kincaid (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter distinguishes various roles values might play and the kinds of arguments advanced, both for the value ladenness and value freedom of science. It then argues that arguments on both sides of the issues rest on untenable assumptions about traditional epistemology as a coherent enterprise. Dropping those assumptions opens a space for showing that science can be value laden and yet robustly objective. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 10.1 sorts out issues, sketches some standard arguments both for and against value ladenness, and then describes epistemological assumptions common to both and argues that those assumptions are misguided. Section 10.2 presents an alternative picture of values and science without those assumptions. Section 10.3 applies that picture to debates over values and objectivity in economics and medicine.

Keywords:   values, science, poverty, health

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