Evaluating the pursuit worthiness of epistemic objects and application driven research

01 October 2012 → 15 August 2014
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Information sciences
    • Other information and computing sciences
  • Social sciences
    • Information sciences
    • Library sciences
Project description

The project investigates the topic of scientific pursuit, and the ways in which it can be

evaluated. Judgments of pursuit worthiness appear in different forms. First, we can ask whether

a given scientific theory, or another phenomenon is worthy of pursuit. Second, we can ask

whether pursuing it is in the interest of an individual scientist, or in the interest of a certain

scientific community. Finally, there is variety of goals that can motivate the pursuit of an

inquiry. Such goals may be a better understanding of the world, developing technologies that

are sustainable, etc. Hence, a judgment of pursuit worthiness has the following general format:

a certain scientific inquiry is worthy of pursuit for a given subject in view of certain cognitive

and/or non-cognitive goals.

The aim of my research is to develop accounts offering criteria by means of which claims

of pursuit worthiness can be evaluated. While my PhD research focused on the pursuit

worthiness of scientific theories, my future research will focus on the pursuit worthiness of

scientifically relevant phenomena and entities, as well as research projects aiming at conceiving

new technologies.

The significance of my research question is manifold: first, for the history of science and

its re-examination; second, for science policy and the formulation of guidelines for the

assessment of pursuit worthiness of scientific inquiries; and third, for the problem of pluralism

of scientific theories and practices.