Vossius Center for the History of Humanities and Sciences

Scientific knowledge as a common good

16Mar2017 16:00 - 18:00


Hans Radder (VU) gives a lecture in the APES Seminar series (Amsterdam Philosophy Encounters Science & Society).


In this article, I address the question whether science can and should be seen as a common good. For this purpose, the first section focuses on the notion of (scientific) knowledge and examines its main characteristics. I discuss and assess the core view of analytic epistemology, that knowledge is, basically, justified true belief. On the basis of this analysis, I then develop an alternative, multi-dimensional theory of the nature of (scientific) knowledge. Next, section 2 reviews and evaluates several answers to the question of what to understand by the notion of a common (or public) good. It discusses both economic and socio-political interpretations of this notion. In section 3, I develop an alternative account of the common good of scientific knowledge. In doing so, I build on the discussion in the two previous sections: some aspects of the views addressed in these sections are included in this alternative account, while others are shown to be unhelpful or untenable. The final section discusses some implications of this account for the politics of science. The main conclusion is that scientific research should not be privatized through patenting its products.


APES [Amsterdam Philosophy Encounters Science & Society]

APES is the place where Amsterdam-based philosophers of science based discuss about their specialised work in progress, about their experience in communicating to the public or to policy makers, run meta-philosophical reflections about their discipline, academia, society, and much more. Anyone interested in hearing and contributing to discussion about science, society, philosophy of science, or any combination of these, is most welcome to our meetings. 


Venue: Faculty Room Department of Philosophy

  • Oude Turfmarkt 145-147

    Oude Turfmarkt 145-147 | 1012 GC Amsterdam
    +31 (0)20 525 3171

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Published by  Vossius Center