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Journal Article

On the Ideal of Autonomous Science

Dan Hicks
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 78, No. 5 (December 2011), pp. 1235-1248
DOI: 10.1086/662255
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662255
Page Count: 14
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On the Ideal of Autonomous Science
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Abstract

In this article I first use Alasdair MacIntyre’s conception of a practice to develop a version of the common, although increasingly controversial, ideal of value-free, value-neutral, or autonomous science. I then briefly show how this ideal has been used by some philosophers to criticize both governmental and commercial funding of science. I go on to argue that, far from being value neutral, certain elements of this ideal strongly resemble some controversial elements of libertarian political philosophy. I suggest that alternative ideals for science might be developed by drawing on egalitarian liberal and communitarian political philosophy.

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