Page:Lawhead columbia 0054D 12326.pdf/60

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

general analysis, optimization, and clarification. We are suited to play this role precisely in virtue of not being scientists: we are uniquely suited (to both carry the transportation theme and echo a famous metaphor of Wilfred Sellars') "build bridges" between the activities of individual scientists, and between different branches of the scientific project as a whole. Philosophers are trained to clarify foundational assumptions, note structural similarities between arguments (and problems) that at first glance could not seem more disparate, and to construct arguments with a keen eye for rigor. These skills, while not necessarily part of the scientist's tool-kit, are vital to the success of the scientific project as a whole: if we're to succeed in our goal of cataloging the interesting patterns in the world around us, we need more than just people directly looking for those patterns. We might take this as a special case of Bruno Latour's observation that "the more non-humans share existence with humans, the more humane a collective is,[1]" and note that the more non-scientists share in the scientific project, the more scientific the project becomes. Now, let us turn to that project in earnest.

  1. Latour (1999)