Objectivity, intellectual virtue, and community
In this paper, I argue that the objectivity of persons is best understood in terms of intellectual virtue, the telos of which is an enduring commitment to salient and accurate information about reality. On this view, an objective reasoner is one we can trust to manage her perspectives, beliefs, emotions, biases, and responses to evidence in an intellectually virtuous manner. We can be confident that she will exercise intellectual carefulness, openmindedness, fairmindedness, curiosity, and other intellectual virtues in her reasoning. I argue further that the cultivation and exercise of such virtues is a social phenomenon and thus challenge highly individualistic notions of intellectual character, epistemic autonomy, and personal objectivity. An advantage of this account of objectivity is that it better enables us to address bias in scientific research, science policy, and public debates about science.
Howes, M. (2015)., Objectivity, intellectual virtue, and community, in F. Padovani, A. Richardson & J. Y. Tsou (eds.), Objectivity in science, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 173-188.
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