Description

We argue that value-based dissent from scientific consensus need not be irrational, as is often supposed. Instead it may commonly be a rational response to information which, if accepted, induces a conflict in core values. We briefly survey normative theories of rationality, drawing specific attention to the role values play in those theories. We then characterize the conditions under which it is rational simply to reject the contextual facts generating conflict among values. We close with some observations about the values to which science communicators may effectively appeal without relinquishing scientific authority.

Share

COinS
 
Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Reason, Values and Evidence: Rational Dissent from Scientific Authority

We argue that value-based dissent from scientific consensus need not be irrational, as is often supposed. Instead it may commonly be a rational response to information which, if accepted, induces a conflict in core values. We briefly survey normative theories of rationality, drawing specific attention to the role values play in those theories. We then characterize the conditions under which it is rational simply to reject the contextual facts generating conflict among values. We close with some observations about the values to which science communicators may effectively appeal without relinquishing scientific authority.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.