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Adjusting Inferential Thresholds to Reflect Nonepistemic Values

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/04/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Philosophy of Science
Issue number2
Volume86
Number of pages31
Pages (from-to)255-285
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Many philosophers have challenged the ideal of value-free science on the grounds that social or moral values are relevant to inferential thresholds. But given this view, how precisely and to what extent should scientists adjust their inferential thresholds in light of nonepistemic values? We suggest that signal detection theory provides a useful framework for addressing this question. Moreover, this approach opens up further avenues for philosophical inquiry and has important implications for philosophical debates concerning inductive risk. For example, the signal detection theory framework entails that considerations of inductive risk and inferential-threshold placement cannot be conducted in isolation from base-rate information.

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