Values and Objectivity in Science
Values in science most often appear in the form of methodological norms and procedures for scientific research, the methods of conducting experiments, and assessing their results. According to Bigge, they express the most important vital meanings that have developed during the formation of society. At the same time, scientific values are inseparable from social ones and act as the synthesis of such concepts as freedom, property rights, equality, and other phenomena. The ability to follow these norms is the sign of a civilized and highly developed society where the opinion of each individual is significant and should be taken into account.
Nevertheless, the objectivity of certain values is sometimes questioned depending on their interpretation. In particular, the opinions of researchers in the scientific field are often subjective and reflect authors’ ideas regarding certain phenomena. As Eisner notes, if the evaluation is a practical setting that is based on the individual’s position and personal interests, the attribution to the value should be guided by something objective and universal, which does not depend on researchers’ individual settings. However, the influence of personal opinions is often predominant, and it affects the concept of objectivity in science and thus compels us to seek additional confirmation of certain assumptions and hypotheses. Bigge mentions the truth as “objective knowledge of either a metaphysical or an unlimited natural reality.” Meanwhile, the relevance of this knowledge is largely determined by the position of the individual who views it from a personal point of view. Consequently, subjective ideas about specific concepts and ideas significantly reduce the objectivity of scientific research. Therefore, the methodology of many studies requires the inclusion of additional supporting resources.