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The notion of objectivity has a number of traditionalconnotations—including disinterest (detachment, lack of bias)and universality (independence from any particular perspective orviewpoint)—which are commonly associated with knowledge of amind-independent world. Feminist critiques are almost unanimous inrejecting scientific objectivity in the sense of disinterest, offeringcase studies that aim to demonstrate how the presence of (forexample) androcentric bias in a scientific community can lead to theacceptance of one theory at the expense of alternatives (Kourany 2010:chs. 1–3; for detailed cases, see Longino 1990: ch. 6 and Lloyd2006). Arguably, the failure of objectivity in this sense isconsistent with realism under certain conditions. For example, if therelevant bias is epistemically neutral (that is, if one’sassessment of scientific evidence is not influenced by it one way oranother), then realism may remain at least one viable interpretationof the outputs of scientific work. In the more interesting case wherebias is epistemically consequential, the prospects for realism arediminished, but may be enhanced by a scientific infrastructure thatfunctions to bring it under scrutiny (by means of, for example,effective peer review, genuine consideration of minority views, etc.),thus facilitating corrective measures where appropriate. Thecontention that the sciences do not generally exemplify such aninfrastructure is one motivation for the normativity of much feministempiricism.

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Belief in scientific–technological progress positively predicts life satisfaction

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Mr. Takato Honda, 2nd year in Ph.D. Program in Human Biology, published first author on a paper in Scientific Reports, the online journal of Nature Publishing Group.
Elucidation of neuronal network underlying memory is an important issue of current behavioral neuroscience. The authors successfully induced artificial olfactory memory in living animals, fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) larvae, by targeted activation of memory circuits involved in memory formation. They utilized cutting edge techniques in fly neurogenetics, and substituted the reward signals with dTrpA1-mediated thermogenetic activation of octopaminergic neurons and the odor signals by ChR2-mediated optical activation of a specific class of olfactory neurons. They showed that targeted activation of only the two sets of neurons is indeed sufficient for the formation of associative olfactory memory in the larval brain. These results reveal the minimum elementary circuitry that mediates the induction of distinctive olfactory associative memory in the larval brain.
Given its simplicity and robustness, this method is expected to further our knowledge on neurocircuitry mechanisms of memory at high resolution. This work was published in Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) in April 25th, 2014.

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European politics, philosophy, science and communications were radically reoriented during the course of the “long 18th century” (1685-1815) as part of a movement referred to by its participants as the Age of Reason, or simply the Enlightenment. Enlightenment thinkers in Britain, in France and throughout Europe questioned traditional authority and embraced the notion that humanity could be improved through rational change. The Enlightenment produced numerous books, essays, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars and revolutions. The American and French Revolutions were directly inspired by Enlightenment ideals and respectively marked the peak of its influence and the beginning of its decline. The Enlightenment ultimately gave way to 19th-century Romanticism.

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The scientific method as described here is an idealization, and should not be understood as a set procedure for doing science. Scientists have as many weaknesses and character flaws as any other group, and it is common for scientists to try to discredit other people’s experiments when the results run contrary to their own favored point of view. Successful science also has more to do with luck, intuition, and creativity than most people realize, and the restrictions of the scientific method do not stifle individuality and self-expression any more than the fugue and sonata forms stifled Bach and Haydn. There is a recent tendency among social scientists to go even further and to deny that the scientific method even exists, claiming that science is no more than an arbitrary social system that determines what ideas to accept based on an in-group’s criteria. I think that is going too far. If science is an arbitrary social ritual, it would seem difficult to explain its effectiveness in building such useful items as airplanes, CD players, and sewers. If alchemy and astrology were no less scientific in their methods than chemistry and astronomy, what was it that kept them from producing anything useful?

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Another version of realism that adopts the strategy of selectivity isentity realism. On this view, realist commitment is based on aputative ability to causally manipulate unobservable entities (likeelectrons or gene sequences) to a high degree—for example, tosuch a degree that one is able to intervene in other phenomena so asto bring about certain effects. The greater the ability to exploitone’s apparent causal knowledge of something so as to bringabout (often extraordinarily precise) outcomes, the greater thewarrant for belief (Hacking 1982, 1983; cf. B. Miller 2016; Cartwright1983: ch. 5; Giere 1988: ch. 5; on causal warrant more generally, see Egg 2012). Beliefin scientific unobservables thus described is here partnered with adegree of skepticism about scientific theories more generally, andthis raises questions about whether believing in entities whilewithholding belief with respect to the theories that describe them isa coherent or practicable combination (Morrison 1990; Elsamahi 1994;Resnik 1994; Chakravartty 1998; Clarke 2001; Massimi 2004). Entityrealism is especially compatible with and nicely facilitated by thecausal theory of reference associated with Kripke (1980) and Putnam([1975b] 1985: ch. 12), according to which one can successfully referto an entity despite significant or even radical changes intheoretical descriptions of its properties; this allows for stabilityof epistemic commitment when theories change over time. Whether thecausal theory of reference can be applied successfully in thiscontext, however, is a matter of dispute (see Hardin & Rosenberg1982; Laudan 1984; Psillos 1999: ch. 12; McLeish 2005, 2006; Chakravartty 2007a:52–56; and Landig 2014; see Weber 2014 for a case study ongenes).

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It was also a period that saw to the abolishment of traditional science values of dichotomy and the worship of atomisation in science, replacing reductive micro deterministic views of personhood with holistic top-down view (Overskeid, 2008) The aim of this essay is to give an account of what constitutes the cognitive revolution, and also assess the contributions that the cognitive revolution has made to the scientific study of psychology....