Can science be neutral?

Can science be neutral?

For a time, epistemological reasoning overtook morality, and vice versa, calling into question their supposed incompatibility. Consider the analysis of moral language in analytic philosophy, the possibility of verification of value assertions made by neo-positivism, or the recognition of existing values ​​and beliefs in research through contemporary epistemology: problems that, although coming from different fields, are increasingly intertwined in discussion today. Some of the research conducted in this regard has dealt with this specific topic that is present, albeit implicit, in scientific research procedures.


Observation is the basic attitude of any investigation, and it is essentially a selective and emotional one. St. Thomas noticed that Obi Omar, Ibi Oculus (“Where there is love, there the eye rests”, 3 sent., Dr. 35, 1, 2, 1): the act of seeing, focusing on something and leaving the rest in the background, shows the desire that dwells in the heart, the true drive of attention. In contrast, observation affects the habits and personality of those who perform it, and shapes their mindset and mindset The method of work.

The belief that a scientific approach to reality is completely sterile and detached has been one of the most common assumptions in modern philosophy. We have tried to justify it, with Locke, by resorting to a distinction between primary qualities (associated with form and quantity), which are objective and independent of the subject, and secondary qualities (colour, smell, taste), influenced by the observer and thus subjective. According to the English philosopher, the subject of scientific research can only be the first.

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However, when examining the question more deeply, this distinction turns out to be unsustainable: the observer’s point of view is also essential in the way the figure is perceived; Moreover, the very idea of ​​the “world” is problematic, which contemporary epistemology recognizes as a human mental construct…

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