Volume 43, 2008
Philosophy of Natural Sciences
Science, Objectivity, and Progress
Postpositivist epistemology treats science as merely a matter of consensus. The main reason for that is the lack of objectivity. We argue that objectivity is not an essential claim for a scientific methodology. Science as an institutional enterprise is characterized mainly by progressive discourse and not by objectivity. In turn, progressiveness depends on a set of norms and regulative principles. This view of science as progressive discourse provides a more adequate basis for dealing with opinion conflicts, scientific methodology, and questions of authority in science than does the consensus view.