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UNC-Chapel Hill PHIL 154 - Values

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How is this different?Values can:1. Motivate research in the first place2. Motivate scientists to focus on certain topics3. Constrain research methods4. Arbitrate between theories5. Manage inductive riskNone of this justifies the presence of values in the scientific claims themselvesCan well-being scientists avoid making mixed claims?- Nagel’s conditioning proposalo Happiness can impede well-being If well-being is understood as good functioning across many domains and over the course of our lives, then happiness can impede well-beingo Distinguish between using and endorsing a normative standardo Required scientists not to endorse any standards, even if they use them just conditionalize all mixed claimsoAlexandrova’s ResponseWhich normative standards should scientist presuppose?- All of them? Not feasible- The “folk” standard – which one- Defer to competent judges (philosophers or legislators)o We need ongoing guidance. This isn’t a set it and forget it issueo You don’t want to neglect the scientists own privileged epistemic positionThe dangers of mixed claimsImposition: the can lead to researchers to impose a conception of well-being on people with good reasons to reject it- What does that mean? How could a conception of well-being be “imposed” on someone?- What are good reasons to reject view about well-being?Inattention: researchers can fail to notice that they are making evaluative claims at allAlexandrova’s Principles1. Unearth value presuppositions in constructs and measures (let everyone know what evaluative assumption you are making and that others may disagree)2. Check the value presuppositions for controversy (is there reasonable disagreement over this issue?)3. Consult the relevant parties (alexandrova advocates deliberative polling)Discussion Questions1. What do you think of deliberative polling? Is it a good idea? What are its limitations? 2. What should be done if no consensus can be reached?3. What if the poll participants come to a decision that the academics think is absurd? Or, perhaps more probable, the conception of well-being that they settle on is not one that works well for scientific


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