Science as a Vocation in the Era of Big Data: the Philosophy of Science behind Big Data and humanity’s Continued Part in Science
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionIntegrative Psychological and Behavioural Science. 2018, 1-15. 10.1007/s12124-018-9447-5
We now live in the era of big data, and according to its proponents, big data is poised to change science as we know it. Claims of having no theory and no ideology are made, and there is an assumption that the results of big data are trustworthy because it is considered free from human judgement, which is often considered inextricably linked with human error. These two claims lead to the idea that big data is the source of better scientific knowledge, through more objectivity, more data, and better analysis. In this paper I analyse the philosophy of science behind big data and make the claim that the death of many traditional sciences, and the human scientist, is much exaggerated. The philosophy of science of big data means that there are certain things big data does very well, and some things that it cannot do. I argue that humans will still be needed for mediating and creating theory, and for providing the legitimacy and values science needs as a normative social enterprise.
JournalIntegrative Psychological and Behavioural Science
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