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(2015) Objectivity in science, Dordrecht, Springer.

Objectivity for sciences from below

Sandra Harding

pp. 35-55

It is an epistemological mistake to conflate the motivation of research by social values or interests with an inevitable deterioration of its reliability and predictive powers. After all, corporate, imperial, or military interests and motives don't make weapons less reliable at killing; nor do environmental or health concerns in themselves damage the reliability of research they motivate. Only in some cases, but not all, do social values and interests have that effect. The social justice movements have produced a standpoint methodology more competent to maximize objectivity. The need for standpoint's 'strong objectivity" arises when research communities lack diversity and are isolated from pro-democratic social tendencies. Research that starts off questioning nature and social relations from the daily lives of economically and politically vulnerable groups can increase its reliability and predictive power. Such research insists on the conventional goals of fairness to the data and to its severest critics. It retains central commitments of the conventional notion of objectivity while escaping its limitations.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-14349-1_3

Full citation:

Harding, S. (2015)., Objectivity for sciences from below, in F. Padovani, A. Richardson & J. Y. Tsou (eds.), Objectivity in science, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 35-55.

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