Objectivities in Print


Csiszar, Alex. “Objectivities in Print.” In Objectivity in Science, 145-169. Dordrecht: Springer, 2015.
Objectivity in Science


Since the late nineteenth century, observers of science have recognized a close link between several of the practices associated with scientific objectivity and the apparatus of scientific publishing. So compelling has seemed this link that it is commonly believed to be of very long standing, and even a precondition for the emergence of modern science itself. But this belief is both historically mistaken and philosophically misleading. This essay tracks two moments during which the bond between scientific publishing and certain epistemic virtues were in the process of formation. The first moment concerns the spread of referee systems in British science in the early nineteenth century, practices that were later transformed into what we now call peer review. The second concerns the late nineteenth-century consolidation of the periodical literature as the seat of collective scientific opinion at the same time that objectivity in science came commonly to be viewed as inhering in the rational coordination of such collective opinions.


Last updated on 02/19/2017