Why do we think differently from one another? Why do religious people adhere to their faith even against reason, whilst atheist thinkers label it “nonsense”? Why do some judges turn more to moral values and others less? Why do we attach different meanings to the same words?
These questions can be tackled on psychological or sociological levels, but we can also analyze the subjects on the epistemological level. That is the purpose of this book.
Thoughts and Ways of Thinking offers Source Theory as a single explanation for epistemic processes and their religious, legal and linguistic derivatives. The idea is simple: our senses, our understanding, our memory, the testimonies that we trust, and many other objects transmit data to us and so shape our beliefs. In this function they serve as our truth sources. Different beliefs stem from different sources or different hierarchies between same sources. This notion is formalized here through the new tool of Source Calculus, and, after balancing its relativistic consequences by adding pragmatic constraints, it is applied to the philosophies of religion, law and language. With this unified theory, old doubts are framed in new perspectives, and some of them even find their solution.Book Details
The public is generally enthusiastic about the latest science and technology, but sometimes research threatens the physical safety or ethical norms of society. When this happens, scientists and engineers can find themselves unprepared in the midst of an intense science policy debate. In the absence of convincing evidence, technological optimists and skeptics struggle to find common values on which to build consensus. The best way to avoid these situations is to sidestep the instigating controversy by using a broad risk-benefit assessment as a risk exploration tool to help scientists and engineers design experiments and technologies that accomplish intended goals while avoiding physical or moral dangers.
Dangerous Science explores the intersection of science policy and risk analysis to detail failures in current science policy practices and what can be done to help minimize the negative impacts of science and technology on society.
Available February 2020