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Science Is Not Always “Self-Correcting”

Science Is Not Always “Self-Correcting” Some prominent scientists and philosophers have stated openly that moral and political considerations should influence whether we accept or promulgate scientific theories. This widespread view has significantly influenced the development, and public perception, of intelligence research. Theories related to group differences in intelligence are often rejected a priori on explicitly moral grounds. Thus the idea, frequently expressed by commentators on science, that science is “self-correcting”—that hypotheses are simply abandoned when they are undermined by empirical evidence—may not be correct in all contexts. In this paper, documentation spanning from the early 1970s to the present is collected, which reveals the influence of scientists’ moral and political commitments on the study of intelligence. It is suggested that misrepresenting findings in science to achieve desirable social goals will ultimately harm both science and society. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Foundations of Science Springer Journals

Science Is Not Always “Self-Correcting”

Foundations of Science , Volume 21 (3) – Feb 1, 2015

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Philosophy; Philosophy of Science; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Mathematical Logic and Foundations
ISSN
1233-1821
eISSN
1572-8471
DOI
10.1007/s10699-015-9421-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Some prominent scientists and philosophers have stated openly that moral and political considerations should influence whether we accept or promulgate scientific theories. This widespread view has significantly influenced the development, and public perception, of intelligence research. Theories related to group differences in intelligence are often rejected a priori on explicitly moral grounds. Thus the idea, frequently expressed by commentators on science, that science is “self-correcting”—that hypotheses are simply abandoned when they are undermined by empirical evidence—may not be correct in all contexts. In this paper, documentation spanning from the early 1970s to the present is collected, which reveals the influence of scientists’ moral and political commitments on the study of intelligence. It is suggested that misrepresenting findings in science to achieve desirable social goals will ultimately harm both science and society.

Journal

Foundations of ScienceSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 1, 2015

References