cover of book

Science and Moral Imagination: A New Ideal for Values in Science
by Matthew J. Brown
foreword by Kim Stanley Robinson
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020
eISBN: 978-0-8229-8767-3 | Cloth: 978-0-8229-4626-7
Library of Congress Classification Q175.32.V35B76 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 174.95

The idea that science is or should be value-free, and that values are or should be formed independently of science, has been under fire by philosophers of science for decades. Science and Moral Imagination directly challenges the idea that science and values cannot and should not influence each other. Matthew J. Brown argues that science and values mutually influence and implicate one another, that the influence of values on science is pervasive and must be responsibly managed, and that science can and should have an influence on our values. This interplay, he explains, must be guided by accounts of scientific inquiry and value judgment that are sensitive to the complexities of their interactions. Brown presents scientific inquiry and value judgment as types of problem-solving practices and provides a new framework for thinking about how we might ethically evaluate episodes and decisions in science, while offering guidance for scientific practitioners and institutions about how they can incorporate value judgments into their work. His framework, dubbed “the ideal of moral imagination,” emphasizes the role of imagination in value judgment and the positive role that value judgment plays in science.
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