Articles by Peter Copeland
August 10, 2021
Those who invoke the political nostrum “follow the science” need reminding it is an activity that’s never free of value judgement, Peter Copeland writes.
Evidently, values play a role in shaping the standards of inquiry, methods, and evaluation of the logic of a scientific conclusion, but must that be the case? Is there not a set of principles that others are reducible to? However, the most common conclusion to be drawn from this sort of thinking in the 20th century Western tradition – and now culture – is some form of skepticism about knowledge of a variety of types - scientific, philosophical, ethical, aesthetic, etc Rather, we ought to realize that scientific inquiry consists of a set of methods that we use to rigorously observe a narrow range of reality around us, and systematically explain the causal relations between entities in that object domain Furthermore, what standard of falsifiability must we adhere to in order for something to count as scientific? Such simple questions demonstrate the extent to which the preference for falsifiability is indeed a value choice, determined by the nature of the question we are seeking to answer