John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Pragmatism: A practical philosophy for environmental scientists

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Courtesy of John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Challenges to the credibility of the scientific community make it particularly important for environmental scientists to understand the bases for the authority of their science. We argue that pragmatism provides a defensible and effective scientific philosophy. It provides a transparent basis for justifying belief and a set of practices and concepts for inference. It makes the scientific community the author of scientific truth, which has implications for the opening of science in the age of social media and the communication of consensus positions on important issues. We describe how pragmatism acknowledges the social aspect of science without losing the scientific tradition of critical thinking. Integr Environ Assess Manag © 2012 SETAC

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