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Durham University

Department of Philosophy

Staff

Publication details for Dr Wendy Parker

Parker, Wendy (2014). Values and uncertainties in climate prediction, revisited. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 46: 24-30.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Philosophers continue to debate both the actual and the ideal roles of values in science. Recently, Eric Winsberg has offered a novel, model-based challenge to those who argue that the internal workings of science can and should be kept free from the influence of social values. He contends that model-based assignments of probability to hypotheses about future climate change are unavoidably influenced by social values. I raise two objections to Winsberg’s argument, neither of which can wholly undermine its conclusion but each of which suggests that his argument exaggerates the influence of social values on estimates of uncertainty in climate prediction. I then show how a more traditional challenge to the value-free ideal seems tailor-made for the climate context.