By Hugh Lacey
A superb explainer of the philosophy of technology.
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Additional info for Is Science Value Free?: Values and Scientific Understanding
Various ways of life fall under the path of adjustment, reflecting the variety of institutions present, class differences and even the existence of “fringe” niches in a society. While the path of adjustment admits of variety, within it the range of acceptable values is limited by those embodied in current dominant institutions (Lacey 1997c)and the fact that they are socially embodied becomes de facto a reason for holding them or at least the ground that makes them immune to criticism. Adopting the path of adjustment can be more or less conscious.
For example, those who propose that a life consisting of a sequence of actions based on spontaneous desires will bring a source of happiness and contentment often find that it brings instead a sense of degradation, emptiness, self-contempt and shame. Those who wish to do just “what they feel like” are often bewildered by their ineffectualness and they often discover that they fail to develop the capacities they need later on to realize desires that then take on importance for them. While first-order desires VALUES 31 may, and often do, predate second-order desires (values) in a person’s life, the continual coherence of first-order desires depends on one’s developing (more or less articulately) second-order ones.
That science is value free, I repeat, does not mean that there is no interplay between science and values; only that what interplay there is leaves the three component views untouched. Thus, matters of values may illuminate all sorts of aspects of the practice, sociology, institutionalization and history of science. It is not enough to impugn that science is value free to display ways in which science and values “touch” each other. 18 INTRODUCTION Furthermore it is not enough to impugn “science is value free” that one or other of the components is actually not highly reflected in some aspects of scientific practice.
Is Science Value Free?: Values and Scientific Understanding by Hugh Lacey