What Does Virtue Have to do With Science? A Conversation About Virtue Ethics and the History of Science


Location: 104-106 McKenna Hall

A Panel Discussion


Dr. Tom Stapleford, Associate Professor, PLS; Dr. Philip Mirowski ,Koch Professor, HPS; Dr. Lynn Joy, Professor, Philosophy; Dr. Chris Hamlin, Professor, History


Thomas Stapleford and Dan Hicks have recently argued (Isis Sept. 2016) that Alasdair MacIntyre’s virtue ethics and portrayal of communal practices provide a novel and effective means for historians of science to frame some big questions in historiography: the significance of studying scientific practice rather than just ideas, the renunciation of Mertonian norms and older pure/applied distinctions, the impact of commercialization on modern science, and the role of history in science itself, amongst others. We take advantage of Stapleford’s presence to launch debate with other HPS faculty whether a concerted moral stance of this sort can provide solid historiographic foundations in a world increasingly skeptical of science and scientists.