Wednesday, March 18

Meeting 9 (3/24) — Well-Ordered Science

Kitcher, Science, Truth, and Democracy, Chapters 7–10.

For next time, we'll begin to consider Kitcher's articulation of an ideal of how science should be pursued in a democratic society. To focus our discussion, I want us to think in particular about four questions (roughly corresponding to the four chapters of STD I've assigned). Let's do another small group discussion-followed by general discussion. And since we already have groups in place, we might as well put those into play (so that you have some forward notice about what to focus on in your reading).

1) Kitcher claims that "pure science" is a myth. What are his arguments and do you find them convincing? [Group 4]

2) What is the argument against pursuing lines of research (contra claims about the value of free inquiry)? [Group 3]

3) What is the ideal of well-ordered science and what can/should its role be in helping us think about how we pursue different scientific projects? [Group 2]

4) Kitcher believes that the ideal of well-ordered science can help us identify some problems in the current functioning of science. Which of these problems looks like the most worrisome? Which are most tractable? [Group 1]

Hope you're all having a good spring break. . . .

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