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Moral Autonomy and the Rationality of Science

James C. Gaa
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 44, No. 4 (Dec., 1977), pp. 513-541
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/186938
Page Count: 29
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Moral Autonomy and the Rationality of Science
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Abstract

The few extant arguments concerning the autonomy of science in the rational acceptance of hypotheses are examined. It is concluded that science is not morally autonomous, and that the attendant notion of rationality in science decisionmaking is inadequate. A more comprehensive notion of scientific rationality, which encompasses the old one, is proposed as a replacement. The general idea is that scientists qua scientist ought, in their acceptance decisions, to take into account the ethical consequences of acceptance as well as the consequences with regard to the attainment of "purely scientific" or "epistemic" objectives. The result constitutes an argument for a (presumably cooperative) game theoretic treatment of inductive logic.

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