“Cognitive Attitudes and Values in Science”

Thursday June 6 - Friday June 7, 2013
University of Notre Dame
210 - 214 McKenna Hall

Participants
Schedule
Sponsors

Cognitive Attitudes and Values in Science

The motivation for this conference stems from the conviction that recent philosophical scholarship on the range of cognitive attitudes available to scientists and the differences between them (consider, e.g., believing, accepting, entertaining, conjecturing, supposing, etc.) could prove valuable for enriching the literature on values and science. For example, disputes over the proper roles for non-epistemic values in responding to situations of underdetermination might be clarified by analyzing the range of cognitive attitudes available to scientists in such situations (e.g., belief vs. acceptance) and the sorts of values that are relevant when adopting particular attitudes. The literature on values in science might also be strengthened by reflecting on the cognitive attitudes that scientists adopt toward simplified models or toward technoscientific artifacts and the sorts of epistemic, ethical, and pragmatic values that promote the aims associated with those attitudes. Related questions concern the cognitive attitudes that scientists adopt when they propound claims as voices of authority in policy contexts and the sorts of values that become relevant to their work as a result.

Questions that we would like to consider at the conference include the following:

(1) What are the major cognitive attitudes that scientists have employed and that they could employ? How should these attitudes be individuated, defined, and characterized?

(2) Which cognitive attitudes are most appropriate to take toward particular products of scientific activity (e.g., models, hypotheses, technoscientific objects, claims made for regulatory purposes, etc.)?

(3) What criteria are available for evaluating whether the cognitive attitudes adopted by scientists in particular contexts are appropriate?

(4) What categories of values (e.g., epistemic, ethical, and pragmatic) promote the aims associated with particular cognitive attitudes?

(5) In what ways can and should scientists clarify their cognitive attitudes in scientific papers, in assessments used for policy purposes, and in communication with the public?

(6) How can the analysis of cognitive attitudes promote more sophisticated approaches to delineating the proper roles for values in science?

(7) How can the analysis of cognitive attitudes promote more sophisticated communication between scientists, policy makers, and members of the public?

Conference participants:
Conference schedule

Thursday, June 6:

Shuttle from the Inn at St. Mary’s to 210 - 214 McKenna Conference Center (9:00)
 
Welcome (9:15-9:30)
 
Daniel Steel (9:30-10:45)
"Acceptance, Values, and Probability"
 
Break (10:45-11:00)
 
Hugh Lacey (11:00-12:15)
"Four Senses of ‘To Accept’ a Theory (Hypothesis)"
 
Lunch (12:15-1:30)
 
Matt Brown (1:30-2:45)
"John Dewey on Hypothesis, Judgment, and Values in Science"
 
Don Howard (2:45-4:00)
"Good Enough for Government Work: Policies, Publics, and Cognitive Attitudes in Science"
 
Break (4:00-4:30)
 
Alfred Nordmann (4:30-5:45)
"Sachlichkeit – The Technician’s Attitude"
 
Dinner at Bistro 933 (6:30)
 
 
Friday, June 7:
 
Shuttle from the Inn at St. Mary’s to 210 - 214 McKenna Conference Center (9:00)
 
Heather Douglas (9:15-10:30)
"Norms for Claim-Making: Between Pure and Practical Reason"
 
Break (10:30-10:45)
 
John Beatty (10:45-12:00)
"What Cognitive Attitude is Appropriate When Deferring to Scientific Authority?"
 
Lunch (12:00-1:15)
 
Janet Kourany (1:15-2:30)
"Bacon’s Promise"
 
Kevin Elliott and Daniel McKaughan (2:30-3:45)
"Non-Epistemic Values and the Multiple Goals of Science"
 
Break (3:45-4:15)
 
Ashley Graham Kennedy (4:15-5:30)
"Accepting Uncertainty in Medical Diagnosis"
 
Concluding Reflections (5:30-6:00)
 
Dinner at Café Navarre (6:30)
Sponsors:

This conference is co-sponsored by:

Reilly Center logo


The Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame

 

USC Consortium for STEM in Society


USC Consortium for Science, Technology, Environment, and Medicine in Society