Should science be free from moral, political or ideological influences? According to the so-called value-free ideal it should. Many scientists think of themselves as committed to truth and objectivity and nothing else. In this seminar, we will track the history of the value-free ideal and engage in a debate about the potential role of so-called non-epistemic values in science.
In the past decades, philosophers of science have begun to challenge the value-free ideal in science. With the help of recent literature from the philosophy of science, students will be introduced to the debate on values in science and the reasons for why the value-free ideal has come under attack. They will be familiarized with the distinction between epistemic (truth-conducive) values and so-called non-epistemic values. The course aims at enabling students to critically reflect the potential role of non-epistemic values in science.