Martin Carrier is professor of philosophy at Bielefeld University in Germany.
In The Challenge of the Social and the Pressure of Practice, philosophers, sociologists, and historians of science offer a multidisciplinary view of the complex interrelationships of values in science and society in both contemporary and historic contexts. They analyze the impact of commercialization and politicization on epistemic aspirations, and, conversely, the ethical dilemmas raised by “practically relevant” science in today’s society. For example, much scientific research over the past quarter century has been guided by the financing that supports it. What effect has this had on the quality of research produced and the advancement of real knowledge?
The contributors reveal how social values affect objectivity, theory, and the direction of inquiry, and examine the byproducts of external value systems in topics such as “expertise” and “socially robust knowledge,” among others. They view science’s own internal value systems, the earlier disconnection of societal values from the scientific process, and the plausibility of “value free” science.
The Challenge of the Social and the Pressure of Practice presents an in-depth analysis that places the role of values at the center of philosophical debate and raises questions of morality, credibility, and the future role of values in scientific inquiry.
Leading scholars in the fields of philosophy and the sciences of the mind have contributed to this newest volume in the prestigious Pittsburgh-Konstanz series. Among the problem areas discussed are folk psychology, meanings as conceptual structures, functional and qualitative properties of colors, the role of conscious mental states, representation and mental content, the impact of connectionism on the philosophy of the mind, and supervenience, emergence, and realization. Most of the essays are followed by commentaries that reflect ongoing debates in the philosophy of the mind and often develop a counterpoint to the claims of the essayists.
To most laypersons and scientists, science and progress appear to go hand in hand, yet philosophers and historians of science have long questioned the inevitability of this pairing. As we take leave of a century acclaimed for scientific advances and progress, Science at Century’s End, the eighth volume of the Pittsburgh-Konstanz Series in the Philosophy and History of Science, takes the reader to the heart of this important matter. Subtitled Philosophical Questions on the Progress and Limits of Science, this timely volume contains twenty penetrating essays by prominent philosophers and historians who explore and debate the limits of scientific inquiry and their presumed consequences for science in the 21st century.