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Exploring Inductive RiskCase Studies of Values in Science$
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Kevin C. Elliott and Ted Richards

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190467715

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190467715.001.0001

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The Inductive Risk of “Demasculinization”

The Inductive Risk of “Demasculinization”

Chapter:
(p.239) 12 The Inductive Risk of “Demasculinization”
Source:
Exploring Inductive Risk
Author(s):

Jack Powers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190467715.003.0012

That scientists should countenance non-epistemic values in their scientific practices has become widely accepted, in part on the basis of arguments from inductive risk. But traditional arguments from inductive risk have focused narrowly on the risk of making mistakes about the truth of hypotheses. This chapter argues that there are inductive risks associated with characterizational choices in science even when there are no mistakes about the truth of hypotheses. Using research into the endocrine-disrupting properties of the herbicide, atrazine, as a case study, this chapter shows how choosing to characterize the effects of atrazine using gendered language poses the risk of reinforcing problematic societal gender norms, while choosing to eschew the use of that gendered language poses risks with respect to environmental protection. The argument that such risks are inductive risks is supported by an analysis of the concept of induction found in traditional arguments from inductive risk.

Keywords:   atrazine, characterize, endocrine-disrupting, gender norms, inductive risk, non-epistemic values, pluralism, values in science

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