Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Environmental Philosophy

Department or School/College

Department of Philosophy

Committee Chair

Dr. Soazig Le Bihan

Commitee Members

Dr. Albert Borgmann Dr. Christopher Preston Dr. Dane Scott


Non-epistemic values, climate science, dissent


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Environmental Policy | Philosophy of Science


Dissent, criticism and controversy are integral to scientific practice, especially when we consider science as a communal enterprise. However, not every form of dissent is acceptable in science. The aim of this paper is to characterize what constitutes the kind of dissent that impedes the growth of knowledge, in other words epistemically detrimental dissent (EDD), and apply that analysis to climate science. I argue that the intrusion of non-epistemic considerations is inescapable in climate science and other policy-relevant sciences. As such there is the need to look beyond the presence of non-epistemic factors (such as non-epistemic risks and economic interests) when evaluating cases of dissent in policy-relevant science. I make the claim that the stable factors in the production of are the presence of skewed research and the effective dissemination of this ‘research’ to the public; the intrusion of non-epistemic values and consideration is only a contingent enabling factor.



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