ABSTRACT

Science does not require that observers exhibit the pristine purity of total detachment. No one, save perhaps a tyro, suggests that a scientist be so chaste, or that "scientific habits of mind" are incompatible with "passionate advocacy, strong faith, intuitive conjecture, and imaginative speculation." All of us, scientists included, are subject to countless influences so well hidden as to be uncoverable either by socio- or psychoanalysis. To transform a scientist into that fully aseptic and thoroughly neutral observer of legend is a virtual impossibility. There is no doubt that "there is more to seeing than meets the eyeball"; that what we see is "theory-laden" or "field-determined." We can admit out of hand that there is no such process as "immaculate perception." Arguments, therefore, which seek to sustain objectivity by predicating neutrality are doomed to fail. They are also irrelevant. Even if such neutral observers could be manufactured, Popper tells us, "they could not possibly attain to what we call scientific objectivity."