Since tenets in science and engineering, an

Since the mid-20th century, a central debate in the philosophy of science is the role of epistemic values when evaluating its bearing in scientific reasoning and method. In 1953, Richard Rudner published an influential article whose principal argument and title was “The Scientist Qua Scientist Makes Value Judgments” (Rudner 1-6). Rudner proposed that non-epistemic values are characteristically required when making inductive assertions on the rationalization of scientific hypotheses. This paper aims to explore Rudner’s arguments and Isaac Levi’s critique on his claims. Through objections of Levi’s dispute for value free ideal and highlighting the importance of non-epistemic values within model development and the tenets in science and engineering, an explicit stance will be made on supporting Rudner’s platform as the system of epistemic valuation in the sciences. The value free ideal is viewed as the scientist must not include moral judgements when collecting evidence and justifying the acceptance of a scientific hypotheses as per the canons of scientific inference. Many conjectures are inductive in empirical research, and therefore have risks where a hypothesis cannot be justified beyond reasonable doubt (Rudner 1-6). As such, one needs to consider a balance in the severity of fallacious acceptance and rejection of the hypothesis (Rudner 1-6). Rudner asserts that the scientist as a scientist accepts or rejects a hypothesis which involves a decision is based of “a function of the importance, in the typically ethical sense, of making a mistake in accepting or rejecting a hypothesis” (Rudner 1-6). He illustrates these arguments from the example of quality control in toxicology where when assessing normative statements, it requires a reliance of non-epistemic values since there is always an inductive risk which could be “grave by our moral standards” (Rudner 1-6). Rudner’s stance has been supported through modified accounts of his arguments. One of which was by Thomas Kuhn, who argued that accuracy, consistency, scope, simplicity, and fruitfulness are necessary epistemic values for selecting a rational theory (Kuhn 320-39). As such, a system of epistemic valuation requires value judgements within scientific method and reasoning (Kuhn 320-39). However, Rudner’s argument has also been the subject of criticism by the scientific community and particularly by Isaac Levi. Levi questions its fallibility to predict what will happen as Rudner claims that a scientist can assess a hypothesis only if they assign a probability to the hypothesis with respect to the evidence as a result of Rudner’s first and second premise (Levi 345-357). He notions the idea that value judgement does not occur in all sciences and “a person can meaningfully and consistently be said to accept a hypothesis as true without having a practical objective” (Levi 345-357). Levi argues that the value free ideal does not imply that a “scientist qua scientist makes no value judgments but that given his commitment to the canons of inference he need make no further value judgments in order to decide which hypotheses to accept and which to reject” (Levi 345-357). With regards to Levi counter-argument on predicting all aspects of the future, it suggests that one should not expect any ability to predict unless it reaches perfection. As a scientist, there is an expectation that accepting or rejecting a hypothesis is part of their role and capacity in order to proceed in their work. Scientists are morally responsible for any foreseeable injurious consequences due to an inductive risk. When gathering and analyzing evidence, it requires judgement. Such interpretations could potentially be altered with regards to prior scientific knowledge and assumptions which are dependent on values. When determining a threshold or evaluation metric for a hypothesis, value judgements are held as they are known since the beginning. To compensate, it might be important for one to clearly define their values as to ensure intersubjectivity and an idea that objectivity of scientific reasoning does not inhibit non-epistemic values. Within engineering, models are believed to uphold the value free ideal (Diekmann and Peterson 207-218). Rudner highlights that when developing models to understand non-epistemic problems, non-epistemic values assists in evaluating the acceptance of such a model (Rudner 1-6). As such, when models are constructed with certain intentions, some of its essence is influenced from non-epistemic values which need need to be attained (Diekmann and Peterson 207-218). As an engineering student, we learned that our responsibilities are not limited to the technical aspects with sole reliance to epistemic values in order to address the problem as this leads to logical fallacy. As similar to Rudner’s claim, it is important to make decisions with non-epistemic values due to inductive risk (Rudner 1-6). Non-epistemic values are not allowed dissuade epistemic values, and vice-versa as they are ingrained to epistemic values.Overall, Rudner’s claim that “The Scientist Qua Scientist Makes Value Judgments” (Rudner 1-6) highlights the necessity of non-epistemic values and value judgements within scientific reasoning.