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Science and Ethics

The Axiological Contexts of Science

Evandro Agazzi and Fabio Minazzi

Philosophy of science used to be identified with the logical and methodological analysis of scientific theories, and any allusion to values was considered as a deplorable intromission in a philosophical investigation that should remain strictly epistemological. As a reaction against this view, an opposite «sociological» approach downplayed the usual virtues of scientific knowledge (such as logical rigor and empirical adequacy) as artificial imageries that cover the actual nature of science, that is a social product submitted to all the kinds of social conditionings and compromises. A more balanced view is badly needed today, when technoscience is permeating all aspects of our civilization and wise persons understand that we cannot survive without using science and technology but at the same time we need to steer their development in view of the real benefit of humankind. We must investigate how science, technology and values are legitimately interconnected and, in particular, how the discourses of ethics, politics and religion can enter a fruitful dialogue with science. The essays presented in this volume offer a valuable contribution to this interdisciplinary study.