Group Rationality in Scientific Research

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  • Pages : XV-284
  • Support : Print
  • Format : 24 cm.
  • Langues : Anglais
  • Édition : Original
  • Ville : Cambridge
  • ISBN : 0521871131
  • URL : Lien externe
  • Date de création : 27-03-2012
  • Dernière mise à jour : 28-03-2012



Under what conditions is a group of scientists rational? How would rational scientists collectively agree to make their group more effective? What sorts of negotiations would occur among them and under what conditions? What effect would their final agreement have on science and society? These questions have been central to the philosophy of science for the last two decades. In this 2007 book, Husain Sarkar proposes answers to them by building on classical solutions - the skeptical view, two versions of the subjectivist view, the objectivist view, and the view of Hilary Putnam. Although he finds these solutions not completely adequate, Sarkar retrieves what is of value from them and also expropriates the arguments of John Rawls and Amartya Sen, in order to weave a richer, deeper, and more developed theory of group rationality. – Contents : – 1. The overview : – I. The plan of the book; – II. Group to individual, or vice vera?; – III. The Williams problem and utopias. – 2. Group rationality : a unique problem : – I. Not an evolution problem; – II. Not a game theory problem; – III. Ramsey and group rationality. – 3. The problem explored : Sen’s way : – I. Consistency, ordering, and rationality; – II. Other notions of rationality and scientific welfare; – III. The sen-problems of group rationality; – IV. The problem defined. – 4. – The skeptical view : – I. The democratic councils; – II. No covenant, a tale; – III. Multiply, multiply, multiply; – IV. Positive arguments; – V. Negative arguments; – VI. The route to the goal. – 5. The subjectivist view I : – Individuals, group, and goals; – II. Divisions and discrepancies; – III. A society of ruthless egoists; – IV. Theory choice; – V. Problems and a paradox. – 6. The subjectivist view II : – I. Values and individuals; – II. Group transitions and risk distribution; – III. History, values, and representative groups; – IV. Negotiations in the scientists’ original position; – V. The city of man? – 7. The objectivist view : – I. Two objectivist problems; – II. Toward the best available method; – III. The best available method; – IV. Is the single method sufficient?; – V. A new problem of demarcation; – VI. Illustration : the herbalist tradition; – VII. The scare of Saint-Simon. – 8. Putnam, individual rationality, and Peirce’s puzzle : – I. Democracy and group rationality; – II. Moral images, scientific images; – III. Method, historical knowledge, and reason; – IV. Peirce’s puzzle; – V. Ultimately, relativism?; – VI. What lies at Bedrock. – 9. The nine problems : – I. The problem, the common aim of science, and the basic structure; – II. The council, reasoning, and allegiance; – III. The universal law of rationality, the worth of science and utopias. – Includes bibliographical references (p. 267-274) and indexes.