lecture_21_2x2 - Announcements and Such One Song - King...

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Announcements and Such One Song — King Crimson “Epitaph” from In the Court of the Crimson King Today: Moral Knowledge Moral Realism, Relativism, and Noncognitivism Intuitionism, Kantianism, and Utilitarianism Next Time: Religious Knowledge First, some leftovers from last time… We saw last time that Scientific Realism is implausible (historically) in its naive form. History teaches us that science is fallible/approximate. We can be replace naive scientific realism with a more sophisticated “approximate truth” realism, but in its metaphysical form, this faces a dilemma : Either no false theory can be closer to the truth than any other false theory ( triviality ) or how “close to the truth” a theory is depends on the language a community adopts ( relativity ) This is a subtle way that social considerations ( e.g. , the adoption of a language or a set of questions that a community is interested in) can creep in. Epistemic forms of “realism” must explain “holding true at a level of precision” (similar dilemma here?) Scientific Knowledge III Social Dimensions of Scientific Knowledge 0 Scientific knowledge is clearly : Socially sharable We say “science tells us p ” or “we” know p . Thus, scientific knowledge is social and virtual . Publicly accessible It’s important that things we call “scientific knowledge” are accessible by a community Cooperatively generated Science involves lots of teamwork . Inter-Subjectively Reproducible/Testable/Acceptable Experiments must be reproducible by others, and auxiliaries must be accepted by all involved These are obvious ways in which SK is social . Scientific Knowledge III Social Dimensions of Scientific Knowledge I BUT, science is not a naive , simple democracy . To see why, consider the doctrinal paradox . Imagine that three (or more) scientists vote on whether certain scientific claims are true. If there is any logical dependence between the claims, then a majority rule can introduce inconsistency : Scientific Knowledge III Social Dimensions of Scientific Knowledge II p p q q S1 Yes Yes Yes S2 Yes No No S3 No Yes No Majority Yes Yes No
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The doctrinal paradox shows that aggregating or combining (justified) beliefs of multiple agents cannot be achieved by simple majority voting. If we require unanimity , then we can combine without paradox, but this is a strict requirement. Perhaps we could go for some “super-majority” rule. This is advocated by Pettit, List, and others. In any case, what this shows is that when we talk about “(social) scientific knowledge”, we are talking about some subtle kind of aggregate judgment. There is a lot of literature lately on these sorts of
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This note was uploaded on 08/01/2008 for the course PHIL 122 taught by Professor Fitelson during the Spring '07 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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lecture_21_2x2 - Announcements and Such One Song - King...

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