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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)