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The Price of TruthHow Money Affects the Norms of Science$
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David B. Resnik

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195309782

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309782.001.0001

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 Scientific Objectivity

 Scientific Objectivity

Chapter:
(p.52) Three Scientific Objectivity
Source:
The Price of Truth
Author(s):

David B. Resnik (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309782.003.0003

This chapter examines science’s most important norm, objectivity. It argues that science ought to be objective because democratic societies need objective beliefs and methods to help resolve controversial moral, political, economic, cultural, and social debates. To help with the resolution of these debates, scientists should attempt to give unbiased testimony in public forums and should try to develop theories, hypotheses, methods, and concepts that are free from personal, cultural, social, moral or political biases. The most effective way of developing unbiased theories (hypotheses, methods, and concepts) is to attempt to test these theories against a mind-independent world. Even though objectivity is often difficult to achieve in science, the quest for objectivity is not an impossible dream or vain pursuit.

Keywords:   objectivity, politics, democracy, biases

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