Social critique as a scientific virtue: an external scientific ethos in the making

Ilya T. Kasavin 
Insti­tute of Phi­los­o­phy, Russ­ian Acad­e­my of Sci­ences

Social cri­tique as a sci­en­tif­ic virtue: an exter­nal sci­en­tif­ic ethos in the mak­ing

Abstract. The arti­cle dis­cuss­es the pos­si­bil­i­ty of using the exter­nal ethics of sci­ence to for­mu­late a new social con­tract between sci­ence and the state (soci­ety). To do this, it is nec­es­sary to re-think the val­ue the­saurus inher­it­ed from the cold war and the arms race, when the state gave sci­en­tists a social order, con­cen­trat­ed resources and allowed the sci­en­tists them-selves to dis­trib­ute them on the basis of anony­mous (secret) expert review­ing and ref­er­ee­ing. The result­ing mod­el of rela­tion­ships with­in the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty can be called Pare­to-com­pe­ti­tion, in which the win­ner re-ceives every­thing and the van­quished are screened to the periph­ery. The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion of Big Sci­ence and Dis­trib­uted Knowl­edge puts on the agen­da the ques­tion of tran­si­tion to a dif­fer­ent rela­tion­ship in the style of Pare-to-col­lab­o­ra­tion. In it, both vic­to­ry and defeat are com­mon cause, each group is pre­scribed its share of oblig­a­tions and advan­tages, and all sci­en­tists have a chance to move in the sys-tem of epis­temic virtues and sins. The new state of the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty, described by the term “full con­stituen­cy” (S. Fuller), not only leads to inter­nal demo­c­ra­t­ic con­sen­sus, but also allows for social crit­i­cism. Its desir­able result is such a restruc­tur­ing of the whole soci­ety, in which cog­ni­tive and moral val­ues come to the fore.

Key­words: social con­tract, sci­ence-soci­ety, Pare­to-com­pe­ti­tion, expert review, full con­stituen­cy, exter­nal ethics of sci­ence

DOI: 10.32326/2618–9267–2021–4–2–73–82


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