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Imperfect Oracle: The Epistemic and Moral Authority of Science

Theodore L. Brown

Published by Penn State University Press
ISBN 10: 0271035366 / ISBN 13: 9780271035369
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Title: Imperfect Oracle: The Epistemic and Moral ...

Publisher: Penn State University Press

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

Book Type: Paperback

Description:

Paperback. 352 pages. Dimensions: 9.1in. x 6.0in. x 0.9in.Science and its offshoot, technology, enter into the very fabric of our society in so many ways that we cannot imagine life without them. We are surrounded by crises and debates over climate change, stem-cell research, AIDS, evolutionary theory and intelligent design, the use of DNA in solving crimes, and many other issues. Society is virtually forced to follow our natural tendency, which is to give great weight to the opinions of scientific experts. How is it that these experts have come to acquire such authority, and just how far does their authority reach Does specialized knowledge entitle scientists to moral authority as well How does scientific authority actually function in our society, and what are the countervailing social forces (including those deriving from law, politics, and religion) with which it has to contend Theodore Brown seeks to answer such questions in this magisterial work of synthesis about the role of science in society. In Part I, he elucidates the concept of authority and its relation to autonomy, and then traces the historical growth of scientific authority and its place in contemporary American society. In Part II, he analyzes how scientific authority plays out in relation to other social domains, such as law, religion, government, and the public sphere. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Bookseller Inventory # 9780271035369

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Science and its offshoot, technology, enter into the very fabric of our society in so many ways that we cannot imagine life without them. We are surrounded by crises and debates over climate change, stem-cell research, AIDS, evolutionary theory and ?intelligent design,? the use of DNA in solving crimes, and many other issues. Society is virtually forced to follow our natural tendency, which is to give great weight to the opinions of scientific experts. How is it that these experts have come to acquire such authority, and just how far does their authority reach? Does specialized knowledge entitle scientists to moral authority as well? How does scientific authority actually function in our society, and what are the countervailing social forces (including those deriving from law, politics, and religion) with which it has to contend?

Theodore Brown seeks to answer such questions in this magisterial work of synthesis about the role of science in society. In Part I, he elucidates the concept of authority and its relation to autonomy, and then traces the historical growth of scientific authority and its place in contemporary American society. In Part II, he analyzes how scientific authority plays out in relation to other social domains, such as law, religion, government, and the public sphere.

About the Author:

Theodore L. Brown is Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Founding Director Emeritus of the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois. From 1980 to 1986, he served as Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School there. He is co-author of the best-selling chemistry textbook Chemistry: The Central Science, now in its eleventh edition from Prentice Hall. Besides his scientific research publications, he is also the author of a previous study in the philosophy of science titled Making Truth: Metaphors in Science (2003) as well as Bridging Divides: The Origins of the Beckman Institute at Illinois (2009).

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