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To be scientific is to be communist

Bright, Liam Kofi and Heesen, Remco ORCID: 0000-0003-3823-944X (2023) To be scientific is to be communist. Social Epistemology, 37 (3). 249 - 258. ISSN 0269-1728

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Identification Number: 10.1080/02691728.2022.2156308


What differentiates scientific research from non-scientific inquiry? Philosophers addressing this question have typically been inspired by the exalted social place and intellectual achievements of science. They have hence tended to point to some epistemic virtue or methodological feature of science that sets it apart. Our discussion on the other hand is motivated by the case of commercial research, which we argue is distinct from (and often epistemically inferior to) academic research. We consider a deflationary view in which science refers to whatever is regarded as epistemically successful, but find that this does not leave room for the important notion of scientific error and fails to capture distinctive social elements of science. This leads us to the view that a demarcation criterion should be a widely upheld social norm without immediate epistemic connotations. Our tentative answer is the communist norm, which calls on scientists to share their work widely for public scrutiny and evaluation.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2022 12:18
Last Modified: 19 May 2024 03:03

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