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Colloquium: Arnon Levy

Friday, November 10, 2023 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Cohen Hall Room 402

Please join us on Friday, November 10th for our Philosophy Department Colloquium with Professor Arnon Levy.
The event will start at 3pm in room 402 of Cohen Hall, with a reception to follow.
Title: A Critique of the Argument from Inductive Risk
Abstract: The argument from inductive risk states that scientists should consider the consequences of their hypotheses and methodological choices in the course of ongoing research. It has played a central role in the widespread retreat from the ideal of value-free science. In this talk I argue that this retreat has been too hasty, insofar as the inductive risk argument suffers from significant flaws: it mislocates social decision-making, assigning an implausibly burdensome role to working scientists. My critique rests on the claim that the focus on inductive risks is an unstable position, and that once that is taken seriously, the argument’s conclusion becomes untenable. I suggest that the motivations underlying the appeal to inductive risks motivate a more throughgoing consequence-oriented view of science, but that such a view can and should make room for value-freedom at the level of individual scientists.