email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
Anger and Forgiveness"Are You There Alone?"10 Good Questions about Life and DeathA Casebook of Ethical Challenges in NeuropsychologyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to Muslim EthicsA Cooperative SpeciesA Critique of the Moral Defense of VegetarianismA Delicate BalanceA Life for a LifeA Life-Centered Approach to BioethicsA Matter of SecurityA Natural History of Human MoralityA Philosophical DiseaseA Practical Guide to Clinical Ethics ConsultingA Question of TrustA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Short Stay in SwitzerlandA Very Bad WizardA World Without ValuesAction and ResponsibilityAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionActs of ConscienceAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction NeuroethicsAdvance Directives in Mental HealthAfter HarmAftermathAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HealthAgainst Moral ResponsibilityAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAging, Biotechnology, and the FutureAlbert Schweitzer's Reverence for LifeAlphavilleAltruismAmerican EugenicsAmerican PsychosisAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Evolutionary EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy And a Time to DieAnimal LessonsAnimal RightsAnimals Like UsApplied Ethics in Mental Health CareAre Women Human?Aristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAssisted Suicide and the Right to DieAutonomyAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismAutonomy, Consent and the LawBabies by DesignBackslidingBad PharmaBad SoulsBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBeauty JunkiesBefore ForgivingBeing AmoralBeing YourselfBending Over BackwardsBending ScienceBernard WilliamsBetter Humans?Better Than WellBeyond ChoiceBeyond GeneticsBeyond HatredBeyond Humanity?Beyond LossBeyond LossBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond the DSM StoryBias in Psychiatric DiagnosisBioethicsBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics at the MoviesBioethics Beyond the HeadlinesBioethics Critically ReconsideredBioethics in a Liberal SocietyBioethics in the ClinicBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical Research and BeyondBiosBioscience EthicsBipolar ChildrenBluebirdBodies out of BoundsBodies, Commodities, and BiotechnologiesBody BazaarBoundBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBraintrustBrandedBreaking the SilenceBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyCapital PunishmentCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsChallenging the Stigma of Mental IllnessCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionChild Well-BeingChildrenChildren's RightsChoosing ChildrenChoosing Not to ChooseClinical Dilemmas in PsychotherapyClinical EthicsCloningClose toYouCoercion as CureCoercive Treatment in PsychiatryCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy Comfortably NumbCommonsense RebellionCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentComprehending CareConducting Insanity EvaluationsConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConflict of Interest in the ProfessionsConsuming KidsContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContentious IssuesContesting PsychiatryCrazy in AmericaCreating CapabilitiesCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCritical Perspectives in Public HealthCritical PsychiatryCrueltyCultural Assessment in Clinical PsychiatryCutting to the CoreCyborg CitizenDamaged IdentitiesDeaf Identities in the MakingDeath Is That Man Taking NamesDebating Same-Sex MarriageDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecoding the Ethics CodeDefining DifferenceDefining Right and Wrong in Brain ScienceDefining the Beginning and End of LifeDelusions of GenderDementiaDemocracy in What State?Demons of the Modern WorldDescriptions and PrescriptionsDesert and VirtueDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDestructive Trends in Mental HealthDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital HemlockDigital SoulDignityDisability BioethicsDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisordered Personalities and CrimeDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDoes Feminism Discriminate against Men?Does Torture Work?Double Standards in Medical Research in Developing CountriesDrugs and JusticeDworkin and His CriticsDying in the Twenty-First CenturyEarly WarningEconomics and Youth ViolenceEmbodied RhetoricsEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotional ReasonEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmpathyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEncountering NatureEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEngendering International HealthEnhancing EvolutionEnhancing Human CapacitiesEnoughEros and the GoodErotic InnocenceErotic MoralityEssays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEthical Choices in Contemporary MedicineEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Dilemmas in PediatricsEthical Issues in Behavioral ResearchEthical Issues in Dementia CareEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in the New GeneticsEthical LifeEthical Reasoning for Mental Health ProfessionalsEthical TheoryEthical WillsEthically Challenged ProfessionsEthicsEthicsEthicsEthics and AnimalsEthics and ScienceEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Discovery of the UnconsciousEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics at the CinemaEthics Case Book of the American Psychoanalytic AssociationEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics for EveryoneEthics for PsychologistsEthics for the New MillenniumEthics in CyberspaceEthics in Health CareEthics In Health Services ManagementEthics in Mental Health ResearchEthics in PracticeEthics in PsychiatryEthics in PsychologyEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEthics, Culture, and PsychiatryEthics, Sexual Orientation, and Choices about ChildrenEvaluating the Science and Ethics of Research on HumansEvilEvil GenesEvil in Modern ThoughtEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolution, Gender, and RapeEvolutionary Ethics and Contemporary BiologyEvolutionary Psychology and ViolenceEvolved MoralityExperiments in EthicsExploding the Gene MythExploiting ChildhoodFacing Human SufferingFact and ValueFaking ItFalse-Memory Creation in Children and AdultsFat ShameFatal FreedomFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist TheoryFinal ExamFirst Do No HarmFirst, Do No HarmFlashpointFlesh WoundsForced to CareForgivenessForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and ReconciliationForgiveness and RetributionFoucault and the Government of DisabilityFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Forensic Mental Health AssessmentFree WillFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will and Reactive AttitudesFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree?Freedom and ValueFreedom vs. InterventionFriendshipFrom Darwin to HitlerFrom Disgust to HumanityFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Silence to VoiceFrontiers of JusticeGender in the MirrorGenetic PoliticsGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetics of Original SinGenetics of Original SinGenocide's AftermathGetting RealGluttonyGood WorkGoodness & AdviceGreedGroups in ConflictGrowing Up GirlGut FeminismHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHandbook for Health Care Ethics CommitteesHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of PsychopathyHappinessHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHard FeelingsHard LuckHardwired BehaviorHarmful ThoughtsHeal & ForgiveHealing PsychiatryHealth Care Ethics for PsychologistsHeterosyncraciesHistorical and Philosophical Perspectives on Biomedical EthicsHoly WarHookedHookedHow Can I Be Trusted?How Propaganda WorksHow to Do Things with Pornography How to Make Opportunity EqualHow Universities Can Help Create a Wiser WorldHow We HopeHow We Think About DementiaHuman BondingHuman EnhancementHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman TrialsHumanism, What's That?Humanitarian ReasonHumanityHumanizing MadnessI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!I Was WrongIdentifying Hyperactive ChildrenIf That Ever Happens to MeImproving Nature?In Defense of FloggingIn Defense of SinIn Love With LifeIn Our Own ImageIn the FamilyIn the Land of the DeafIn the Name of IdentityIn the Wake of 9/11In Two MindsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchInnovation in Medical TechnologyInside Assisted LivingInside EthicsIntelligence, Race, and GeneticsIntensive CareIs Human Nature Obsolete?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is There a Duty to Die?Is There an Ethicist in the House?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJudging Children As ChildrenJust a DogJust BabiesJust CareJustice for ChildrenJustice for HedgehogsJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeJustifiable ConductKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Theory of VirtueKids of CharacterKilling McVeighLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLaw and the BrainLearning About School ViolenceLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLegal and Ethical Aspects of HealthcareLegal Aspects of Mental CapacityLegal ConceptionsLegalizing ProstitutionLet Them Eat ProzacLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberal EugenicsLife After FaithLife at the BottomLife, Sex, and IdeasListening to the WhispersLiving ProfessionalismLosing Matt ShepardLostLuckyMad in AmericaMad PrideMadhouseMaking Another World PossibleMaking Babies, Making FamiliesMaking Genes, Making WavesMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMalignantMasculinity Studies and Feminist TheoryMeaning and Moral OrderMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedical Research for HireMedicalized MasculinitiesMedically Assisted DeathMeditations for the HumanistMelancholia and MoralismMental Health Professionals, Minorities and the PoorMental Illness, Medicine and LawMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMetaethical SubjectivismMill's UtilitarianismMind FieldsMind WarsMind WarsModern Theories of JusticeModernity and TechnologyMoney ShotMonsterMoral Acquaintances and Moral DecisionsMoral ClarityMoral CultivationMoral Development and RealityMoral Dilemmas in Real LifeMoral DimensionsMoral EntanglementsMoral FailureMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral MindsMoral OriginsMoral Panics, Sex PanicsMoral ParticularismMoral PerceptionMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RealismMoral RelativismMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral Status and Human LifeMoral StealthMoral Theory at the MoviesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMoral, Immoral, AmoralMoralismMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMorals, Rights and Practice in the Human ServicesMorals, Rights and Practice in the Human ServicesMore Than HumanMotive and RightnessMovies and the Moral Adventure of LifeMurder in the InnMy Body PoliticMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Sister's KeeperMy Sister's KeeperMy WayNano-Bio-EthicsNarrative MedicineNarrative ProsthesisNatural Ethical FactsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalized BioethicsNeither Bad nor MadNeoconservatismNeonatal BioethicsNeurobiology and the Development of Human MoralityNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNew Takes in Film-PhilosophyNew Waves in EthicsNew Waves in MetaethicsNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNo Child Left DifferentNo Impact ManNormative EthicsNormativityNothing about us, without us!Oath BetrayedOf War and LawOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn EvilOn Human RightsOn The Stigma Of Mental IllnessOn the TakeOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne ChildOne Nation Under TherapyOne World NowOur Bodies, Whose Property?Our Bodies, Whose Property?Our Daily MedsOur Faithfulness to the PastOur Posthuman FutureOut of EdenOut of Its MindOut of the ShadowsOverdosed AmericaOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPassionate DeliberationPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perfecting VirtuePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonhood and Health CarePersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPerspectives On Health And Human RightsPharmacracyPharmageddonPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhysician-Assisted DyingPicturing DisabilityPilgrim at Tinker CreekPlaying God?Playing God?Political EmotionsPornlandPowerful MedicinesPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical EthicsPractical Ethics for PsychologistsPractical RulesPragmatic BioethicsPragmatic BioethicsPragmatic NeuroethicsPraise and BlamePreferences and Well-BeingPrimates and PhilosophersPro-Life, Pro-ChoiceProcreation and ParenthoodProfits Before People?Progress in BioethicsProperty in the BodyProzac As a Way of LifeProzac on the CouchPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric EthicsPsychiatry and EmpirePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and Consumer CulturePsychology and LawPsychotropic Drug Prescriber's Survival GuidePublic Health LawPublic Health Law and EthicsPublic PhilosophyPunishing the Mentally IllPunishmentPursuits of WisdomPutting Morality Back Into PoliticsPutting on VirtueQuality of Life and Human DifferenceRaceRadical HopeRadical VirtuesRape Is RapeRe-creating MedicineRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReason's GriefReasonably ViciousReckoning With HomelessnessReconceiving Medical EthicsRecovery from SchizophreniaRedefining RapeRedesigning HumansReducing the Stigma of Mental IllnessReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRefuting Peter Singer's Ethical TheoryRelative JusticeRelativism and Human RightsReligion ExplainedReprogeneticsRescuing JeffreyResponsibilityResponsibility and PsychopathyResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility from the MarginsResponsible GeneticsRethinking CommodificationRethinking Informed Consent in BioethicsRethinking Mental Health and DisorderRethinking RapeReturn to ReasonRevolution in PsychologyRightsRights, Democracy, and Fulfillment in the Era of Identity PoliticsRisk and Luck in Medical EthicsRobert NozickRousseau and the Dilemmas of Modernity Rule of Law, Misrule of MenRunning on RitalinSatisficing and MaximizingSchizophrenia, Culture, and SubjectivityScience and EthicsScience in the Private InterestScience, Policy, and the Value-Free IdealScience, Seeds and CyborgsScratching the Surface of BioethicsSecular Philosophy and the Religious TemperamentSeeing the LightSelf-ConstitutionSelf-Made MadnessSelf-Trust and Reproductive AutonomySentimental RulesSex Fiends, Perverts, and PedophilesSex OffendersSexual DevianceSexual EthicsSexual PredatorsSexualized BrainsShaping Our SelvesShock TherapyShould I Medicate My Child?ShunnedSick to Death and Not Going to Take It AnymoreSickoSide EffectsSidewalk StoriesSister CitizenSkeptical FeminismSocial Inclusion of People with Mental IllnessSocial JusticeSociological Perspectives on the New GeneticsSome We Love, Some We Hate, Some We EatSovereign VirtueSpiral of EntrapmentSplit DecisionsSticks and StonesStories MatterSubjectivity and Being SomebodySuffering, Death, and IdentitySuicide ProhibitionSurgery JunkiesSurgically Shaping ChildrenTaking Morality SeriouslyTaming the Troublesome ChildTechnology and the Good Life?TestimonyText and Materials on International Human RightsThe Aims of Higher EducationThe Almost MoonThe Altruistic BrainThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Forensic PsychiatryThe Animal ManifestoThe Art of LivingThe Autonomy of MoralityThe Beloved SelfThe Best Things in LifeThe Big FixThe Bioethics ReaderThe Biology and Psychology of Moral AgencyThe Blackwell Guide to Medical EthicsThe Body SilentThe BondThe Book of LifeThe Burden of SympathyThe Cambridge Companion to Virtue EthicsThe Cambridge Companion to Virtue EthicsThe Cambridge Textbook of BioethicsThe Case against Assisted SuicideThe Case Against PerfectionThe Case Against PunishmentThe Case for PerfectionThe Case of Terri SchiavoThe Challenge of Human RightsThe Code for Global EthicsThe Colonization Of Psychic SpaceThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe Common ThreadThe Connected SelfThe Constitution of AgencyThe Creation of PsychopharmacologyThe Criminal BrainThe Decency WarsThe Difficult-to-Treat Psychiatric PatientThe Disability PendulumThe Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to ConfrontationThe Domain of ReasonsThe Double-Edged HelixThe Duty to ProtectThe Emotional Construction of MoralsThe End of Ethics in a Technological SocietyThe End of Stigma?The Essentials of New York Mental Health LawThe Ethical BrainThe Ethical Dimensions of the Biological and Health SciencesThe Ethics of BioethicsThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of SightseeingThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Ethics of the LieThe Ethics of TransplantsThe Ethics ToolkitThe Evolution of Mental Health LawThe Evolution of MoralityThe FamilyThe Fat Studies ReaderThe Forgiveness ProjectThe Form of Practical KnowledgeThe Fountain of YouthThe Freedom ParadoxThe Future of Assisted Suicide and EuthanasiaThe Future of Human NatureThe Good BookThe Good LifeThe Great BetrayalThe Handbook of Disability StudiesThe Healing VirtuesThe High Price of MaterialismThe History of Human RightsThe HorizonThe Idea of JusticeThe Ideal of NatureThe Illusion of Freedom and EqualityThe Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Importance of Being UnderstoodThe Insanity OffenseThe Joy of SecularismThe Language PoliceThe Last Normal ChildThe Last UtopiaThe Limits of MedicineThe LobotomistThe Love CureThe Lucifer EffectThe Manual of EpictetusThe Mark of ShameThe Meaning of NiceThe Medicalization of SocietyThe Merck DruggernautThe Mind Has MountainsThe Modern Art of DyingThe Modern SavageThe Moral ArcThe Moral BrainThe Moral Demands of MemoryThe Moral FoolThe Moral MindThe Moral Psychology HandbookThe Moral, Social, and Commercial Imperatives of Genetic Testing and ScreeningThe Most Good You Can DoThe Myth of ChoiceThe Myth of the Moral BrainThe Nature of NormativityThe New Disability HistoryThe New Genetic MedicineThe New Religious IntoleranceThe Offensive InternetThe Origins of FairnessThe Oxford Handbook of Animal EthicsThe Oxford Handbook of Ethics at the End of LifeThe Perfect BabyThe Philosophy of NeedThe Philosophy of PornographyThe Philosophy of PsychiatryThe Politics Of LustThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Power of Religion in the Public SphereThe Price of PerfectionThe Price of TruthThe Problem of PunishmentThe Prosthetic ImpulseThe Psychology of Good and EvilThe Psychology of Good and EvilThe PsychopathThe Purity MythThe Pursuit of PerfectionThe Relevance of Philosophy to LifeThe Right Road to Radical FreedomThe Right to Be ParentsThe Righteous MindThe Root of All EvilThe Rules of InsanityThe Second SexismThe Second-Person StandpointThe Silent World of Doctor and PatientThe Sleep of ReasonThe Social Psychology of Good and EvilThe Social Psychology of MoralityThe Social Psychology of MoralityThe Speed of DarkThe Stem Cell ControversyThe Stem Cell ControversyThe Story of Cruel and UnusualThe Story WithinThe Stubborn System of Moral ResponsibilityThe Suicide TouristThe Terrible GiftThe Theory of OptionsThe Therapy of DesireThe Trauma of Psychological TortureThe Trauma of Psychological TortureThe Triple HelixThe Trolley Problem MysteriesThe Trouble with DiversityThe Truth About the Drug CompaniesThe Ugly LawsThe Varieties of Religious ExperienceThe Virtues of HappinessThe Virtuous Life in Greek EthicsThe Virtuous PsychiatristThe Voice of Breast Cancer in Medicine and BioethicsThe War Against BoysThe War for Children's MindsThe Whole ChildThe Woman RacketThe Worldwide Practice of TortureTherapy with ChildrenThieves of VirtueThree Generations, No ImbecilesTimes of Triumph, Times of DoubtTolerance Among The VirtuesTolerance and the Ethical LifeTolerationToxic PsychiatryTrauma, Truth and ReconciliationTreatment Kind and FairTrusting on the EdgeTry to RememberUltimate JudgementUnborn in the USA: Inside the War on AbortionUndermining ScienceUnderstanding AbortionUnderstanding CloningUnderstanding EmotionsUnderstanding EvilUnderstanding Moral ObligationUnderstanding Physician-Pharmaceutical Industry InteractionsUnderstanding TerrorismUnderstanding the GenomeUnderstanding the Stigma of Mental IllnessUnderstanding Treatment Without ConsentUnhingedUnprincipled VirtueUnsanctifying Human Life: Essays on EthicsUnspeakable Acts, Ordinary PeopleUp in FlamesUpheavals of ThoughtUsers and Abusers of PsychiatryValue-Free Science?Values and Psychiatric DiagnosisValues in ConflictVegetarianismViolence and Mental DisorderVirtue EthicsVirtue, Rules, and JusticeVirtue, Vice, and PersonalityVirtues and Their VicesWar Against the WeakWar, Torture and TerrorismWarrior's DishonourWeaknessWelfare and Rational CareWhat Genes Can't DoWhat Is a Human?What Is Good and WhyWhat Is Good and WhyWhat Is the Good Life?What Price Better Health?What Should I Do?What We Owe to Each OtherWhat Would Aristotle Do?What's Good on TVWhat's Normal?What's Wrong with Children's RightsWhat's Wrong with Homosexuality?What's Wrong With Morality?When Is Discrimination Wrong?Who Holds the Moral High Ground?Who Owns YouWho Qualifies for Rights?Whose America?Whose View of Life?Why Animals MatterWhy Animals MatterWhy I Burned My Book and Other Essays on DisabilityWhy Not Kill Them All?Why Punish? How Much?Why Some Things Should Not Be for SaleWisdom, Intuition and EthicsWithout ConscienceWomen and Borderline Personality DisorderWomen and MadnessWondergenesWould You Kill the Fat Man?Wrestling with Behavioral GeneticsWriting About PatientsYou Must Be DreamingYour Genetic DestinyYour Inner FishYouth Offending and Youth Justice Yuck!
In this book Heather Douglas argues that widespread acceptance of the value-free ideal for science adversely affects the way science is used in policy making. The book is about an important issue. It is clearly written, and is a pleasure to read. I must confess, however that, as the author of at least four books that cover some of the same ground, and in many ways develop the argument much further than the author does here, I was disappointed to find my work entirely ignored -- as other authors may be too, whose work is also ignored.
Douglas begins with an account of two disputes about science from the 1990s: the "science wars" debate, and the debate concerning "good" and "junk" science. She then gives a sketch of developments in the relationship between science and government in the USA from 1900 to the 1970s. There is then a discussion of the origins of the value-free ideal for science. This ideal holds, roughly, that only intellectual values, having to do with the determination of truth, have a valid role in science, all social values having no legitimate role whatsoever. This view stems, Douglas argues, rather surprisingly, from philosophy of science mainly in the USA from around 1960. It then spread, she claims, to scientists themselves. Next, Douglas discusses the moral responsibility of scientists. Anyone may be held responsible for unintended, harmful consequences of their actions: they are reckless if they knowingly create a risk of harm to others, and are negligent if they unknowingly create such a risk but ought to have known the risk was there. Scientists in their professional work as scientists ought to be neither reckless nor negligent. Thus morality has a legitimate, indeed an important, role to play in science, especially when there is the possibility of error, as there often (or always) is, and the consequences of error would be dire indeed, such as the death of many people. The value-free ideal for science is untenable, and must be rejected.
Having established this point, Douglas goes on, in chapter five, to consider the structure of values in science. This is the heart of the book. She makes the excellent point that there is a sense in which all of science is based on social values, in that the decision to do or support science is based on the judgment that science is worth doing or having. When it comes to deciding how values can legitimately influence what goes on in science, we need, Douglas argues, to distinguish two different roles for values. There is a direct role, when a value bolsters support for a theory (as if it were evidence), and an indirect role, when a value does not "compete or supplant evidence, but rather determines the importance of the inductive gaps left by the evidence" (p. 96). Social values have a legitimate direct role in the context of discovery, in influencing scientists in their choice of research topic and methods (an uncontroversial point). These values have no legitimate direct role in the context of acceptance (where evidence rules supreme in science). These values can, however, Douglas argues, have a legitimate indirect role, in influencing decisions about whether available evidence is sufficient to justify acceptance of a result. Once these distinctions are appreciated, it becomes clear that cognitive and social values legitimately suffuse all of science.
Douglas goes on to argue that to say "a researcher, a procedure, or a finding is objective is to say that each of these things is trustworthy in a most potent form" (p. 116), and then distinguishes some nine more specific meanings this general notion of objectivity can have. There is then a discussion of the role of values when scientists advise about policy involving risk, for example, the risk to health of chemicals in the environment. Here, disputes between scientists about risk may be helped, Douglas argues, if scientists abandon the value-free ideal, and openly acknowledge values that may be influencing (in an indirect way) their judgments about risk. Finally, she considers implications her value-laden ideal for science may have for the participation of the public in risk assessment and some other aspects of science.
Does this book establish that the value-free ideal deserves to be rejected? In my view it does. The rather general point that scientists need to exercise moral responsibility in their work strikes me as entirely valid. I do however have some criticisms. I begin with two minor points.
Douglas's claim that the value-free ideal stems from philosophy of science mainly in the USA from around 1960s, and then spread to the scientific community, seems to me to exaggerate wildly the influence that philosophy of science can have on science. In fact, the value-free ideal was a standard conviction of scientists internationally long before 1960. Indeed, it probably goes back to the decision of the Royal Society when first formed to exclude religious, political, moral and social issues from its deliberations. Philosophers of science have merely articulated an attitude long pre-existing in the scientific community.
The chapter on objectivity equates objectivity with trustworthiness "in a most potent form". This strikes me as a very odd notion of objectivity. Could not a finding be objective but highly conjectural nevertheless, and thus thoroughly untrustworthy? If we interpret the chapter as being about trustworthiness of scientific results, then it is really about confirmation, but in a somewhat disguised form. There is a massive literature on confirmation, barely acknowledged here. In writing about confirmation disguised as objectivity, Douglas creates the impression she is tackling almost virgin territory when in fact it is nothing of the kind. The chapter strikes me as misjudged. What the overall argument of the book requires, I would have thought, is a decisive demonstration of the point that a proper value-laden view of science, far from undermining scientific objectivity as many might suppose, would, on the contrary, strengthen it. This point is made, but is obscured by other questionable matter.
My main criticism, however, is that the book fails to take account of relevant previous work on values in science. Some work critical of the value-free ideal is discussed -- for example, papers by Richard Rudner and James Gaa -- but references are almost entirely restricted to work of philosophers in the USA. Other work is ignored. For example, J. R. Ravetz's Scientific Knowledge and its Social Problems (1971), Brian Easlea's Liberation and the Aims of Science (1973), and David Collingridge's The Social Control of Technology ((1980) all, in different ways, discuss values in science, and are concerned with issues tackled by Douglas, but all are ignored. And again, I have, in the past three decades, published numerous papers and four books on these issues; none receive any mention at all, despite the fact that, as I have already indicated, my work takes the argument concerning values in science much further than Douglas's book does.
Douglas and I both accept, as many others do too, that social values legitimately influence science in the context of discovery, in influencing choice of research topics and methods. We both accept that social values may legitimately influence what is accepted in science as a basis for action, especially when action that is based on results that turn out to be false would have tragic outcomes, such as the suffering or death of many people. As I put it somewhat infelicitously in Is Science Neurotic? (2004, p. 66) "the political dimension of science must never affect judgments of truth and falsity (except in those circumstances when being wrong would have disastrous human consequences and this provides grounds for exercising additional caution)". Douglas's book is devoted to establishing the legitimacy of this kind of influence of social values on science. In my work, however, I have argued for a number of additional ways in which values may legitimately influence science, all of which are ignored by Douglas's book. I confine myself to making the following five points.
1. In my What's Wrong With Science? (1976; 2009), From Knowledge to Wisdom (1984; 2007) and elsewhere, I argue that the content of scientific knowledge is all-pervasively and quite properly influenced by values, in that, quite properly, we want knowledge that is, in some way or other, significant, useful, or of value. We do not want knowledge that is irredeemably trivial and useless. Merely in order to be accepted for publication, a result, however well-established, must meet a certain threshold of potential significance or value. Here, values influence, not which of two rival theories we accept, and not whether we decide to accept a result as a basis for action, but rather what we have acquired knowledge about. (In other words, values here influence, not which of two views about a topic we accept, but rather which of two topics we have acquired knowledge about.) There are endless topics we might seek to acquire knowledge about; values select out some topics as being of sufficient potential interest for us to have acquired knowledge about them.
2. In the above mentioned works I argue that values are inherent in the basic intellectual aim of science, in that science seeks, not truth per se, but rather valuable truth, significant, interesting or useful truth. Scientific progress is to be judged, not just in terms of the amount of truth that is being discovered, but rather in terms of the amount of significant, interesting, valuable or useful truth is being discovered. A science that acquired knowledge of a great deal of factual truth, all of which is utterly and irredeemably trivial, insignificant and useless, would not be, and ought not to be, judged to be making splendid progress.
Once we acknowledge that a basic intellectual aim of science is to discover valuable truth (and not just truth per se), it is clear that the real aim of science is profoundly problematic. Of value to whom? How? When? In what way? What is there that is discoverable that is genuinely of value? Do massive funds currently spent on military research really reflect the best interests of humanity? How can science funded by the wealthy serve the interests of those whose needs are the greatest, the poor of the earth? These are questions that ought to be of central concern to anyone interested in the role of values in science, and yet they are passed over in silence in the book under review.
I go on to argue that, if science is to make a good choice of aims, actual and possible aims for science need sustained imaginative and critical attention, as an integral part of science itself, by both scientists and non-scientists alike. This requires that we develop a new "aim-oriented empiricist" conception of science which recognizes three domains of discussion: (1) observational and experimental results, (2) theory, and (3) aims. The problematic aims of science need to be represented in the form of a hierarchy of aims, aims becoming less and less specific and so less and less problematic, as we go up the hierarchy. In this way, science creates a framework of relatively unproblematic aims, and associated methods, within which much more specific and problematic aims and associated methods may be critically assessed, alternatives being developed, in the hope of improving aims and methods. The relationship between science and the philosophy of science is transformed, in that philosophy of science (concerned with possible and actual aims for science) becomes an integral part of science itself. The relationship between science and the public is also transformed. As a result of doing science in this new way, we might gradually come to possess a science that does better justice to the real interests of humanity than what we have at present.
3. Douglas distinguishes between epistemic values (concerned with truth), cognitive values (concerned with such things as simplicity and explanatory power) and social values. During the course of distinguishing epistemic and cognitive values, Douglas makes very clear that she takes for granted the orthodox view of science I have called "standard empiricism" (pp. 93-4). This states that the basic intellectual aim of science is truth per se, the basic method being to assess claims to knowledge with respect to evidence, no substantial thesis about the world being accepted as a part of scientific knowledge independent of empirical considerations. Accepting this view, Douglas judges simplicity and explanatory power to be non-epistemic as there is no reason why simplicity or explanatory power should be a sign of truth. But I have shown that standard empiricism (SE) is untenable. In physics, only unified theories are accepted even though endlessly many empirically more successful but grossly disunified rivals can always be concocted. This means physics makes a permanent metaphysical assumption about the world: the universe has some kind of underlying dynamic unity, to the extent at least that no disunified physical theory is true. I go on to argue that, in view of the problematic character of this assumption, it needs -- as in 2 above -- to be represented in the form of a hierarchy of assumptions which, as one goes up the hierarchy, become less and less substantial and so more and more likely to be true, and such that their truth is required for science, or the pursuit of knowledge, to be possible at all. Once again, we are led to the "aim-oriented empiricist" view sketched above in 2. The aim of seeking truth presupposed to be (more or less) unified or explanatory is a special case of the more general aim of seeking valuable truth. Granted aim-oriented empiricism, simplicity and explanatory power do have epistemic import: they are fallible indicators of truth in physics (necessary but not sufficient conditions for a theory to be judged to be a candidate for truth in physics). This argument was first spelled out by me long ago in a two-part paper in Philosophy of Science in 1974; it is to be found in all my subsequent books, in a number of papers, and is formulated in detail in my The Comprehensibility of Science (1998). Furthermore, I argue that standard empiricism has damaging consequences for science itself because scientists take it for granted, and seek to put it into practice in their scientific work. Just that which anyone concerned about the value of science should be concerned to demolish, Douglas takes uncritically for granted. Here again, neglect of previous work in the field diminishes the significance of her book.
4. Aim-oriented empiricism, I have argued at length in my work, has profound implications for policy issues. For, it is not just in science that basic aims are problematic; this is the case in life too. Whenever our (personal, institutional or global) aims are problematic, we need to represent them in the form of a hierarchy, thus creating a framework of relatively unproblematic aims and methods within which more specific and problematic aims and methods may be improved as we act, as we live. Science is of value, not just culturally and technologically, but also methodologically -- but in order to exploit this third use of science properly in personal, social and institutional life, it is essential to get clear about what the progress-achieving methods of science are. These methods (or meta-methods) are depicted by aim-oriented empiricism. All this is highly relevant to Douglas's theme of the role of science in policy making, and yet, of course, receives no mention in her book.
5. Ultimately, I argue that we need to bring about a revolution in science, and in academic inquiry more generally, so that the aim of academia becomes to seek and promote wisdom -- wisdom being the capacity to realize what is of value in life, for oneself and others, wisdom thus including knowledge, technological know-how and understanding, but much else besides. The outcome of this revolution would be a new kind of inquiry, potentially more rigorous and humanly valuable than what we have at present. It would put problems of living at the heart of the academic enterprise, problems of knowledge emerging out of and feeding back into this central intellectual concern. Aim-oriented empiricist science would be an integral part of this new kind of wisdom-inquiry.
Perhaps it is as well that Douglas is unaware of these dangerous revolutionary developments. The very modesty of her work may mean it succeeds in convincing her peers. I certainly hope so.
© 2010 Nicholas Maxwell
Nicholas Maxwell has devoted much of his working life to arguing that we need to bring about a revolution in academia so that it promotes wisdom and does not just acquire knowledge. He has published five books on this theme: What's Wrong With Science? (1976; 2009), From Knowledge to Wisdom (1984; 2007), The Comprehensibility of the Universe (1998; 2003), The Human World in the Physical Universe (2001) and Is Science Neurotic? (2004). For nearly thirty years he taught philosophy of science at University College London, where he is now Emeritus Reader.