Twenty-first century perspectivism: the role of emotions in scientific inquiry

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Abstract

How should emotions figure in scientific practice? I begin by distinguishing three broad answers to this question, ranging from pessimistic to optimistic. Confirmation bias and motivated numeracy lead us to cast a jaundiced eye on the role of emotions in scientific inquiry. However, reflection on the essential motivating role of emotions in geniuses makes it less clear that science should be evacuated of emotion. I then draw on Friedrich Nietzsche’s perspectivism to articulate a twenty-first century epistemology of science that recognizes the necessity of emotion to inquiry but aims to manage the biases that emotions can introduce. Twenty-first century perspectivism is both social and (temporally) distal, helping it to overcome a paradox of self-critical inquiry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-79
Number of pages15
JournalStudi di Estetica
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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