Covarrubias, F. 2007. El Carácter Relativo de la Objetividad Científica. Cinta moebio 28: 39-66

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The Relative Character of Scientific Objectivity

Dr. Francisco Covarrubias (fcovarrubias@ipn.mx) Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación para el Desarrollo Integral Regional, Unidad Michoacán del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (Michoacán, México)


Abstract

The forms and contents of real objects, whether natural o social, depend more on the ontological conception of the subject than on the being itself. Thus, since multiple scientific rationalities exist, multiple manners of thinking and conceiving theoretically the real objects do or could exist. The construction of supratheoretical criteria capable of understanding the internal rationality of a theory inevitably entails the problem of deriving from a given scientific rationality or from a metatheory with philosophical essence. This leads to cast doubt on the objectivity of scientific knowledge and the objectivity of the constructed knowledge based on theoretical metarationalities. Facts are created by a theory and do not exist independently from it. Some facts are perceived by scientists through atheoretical referents while others are produced and formulated by the theory. Those facts that are perceived using ascientific referents are not incorporated to the science as they are, but only thorough a translation to the theory predominant in the conscience of the scientist. In any case, based on the alleged external existence of the facts independent from the contents of the conscience, this is absolutely false. Scientific knowledge is objective or could be if it prevails over the verifying tests of the theory from which it was constructed; metarational knowledge is objective if its assertions correspond to the logic implied in the rationality of the theory it belongs to, for if it were not like that, the assertions when confronted with opposite rationalities would appear as metaphysics. But the logic of either a scientific rationality or a metarationality is not applicable to cognitive assertions constructed from a different rationality, unless it has to do with scientific rationalities or metarationalities based on the same ontological conception.

Key words: rationality, metarationality, theory, metatheory, objectivity.

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Cinta de Moebio
Revista de EpistemologĂ­a de Ciencias Sociales
ISSN 0717-554X