|dc.description.abstract||This study investigates the challenges to the legitimacy and authority of scientific research in late modern
philosophy of science. The author suggests that the different challenges to the legitimacy
of science have led to relativism and amount to a crisis. Keeping in mind the positivist
background, he illustrates the legitimacy crisis of science in the period from Popper to the
present. In particular his analysis focuses on the "historical school" (Kuhn, Feyerabend etc.) in
philosophy of science.
The main question of this study is: what are the causes and the nature of the legitimacy crisis
emerging in the contemporary philosophical assessment of science? To answer this question, a
few specific challenges to the legitimacy of science emerging in particular areas are analysed: for
example the difficulties of anchoring scientific certitude to its proper object of study, the loss of
objectivity, growing scepticism about the possibility of communication and scientific progress.
After substantiating the gradual emergence of relativist and sceptical approaches in the abovementioned
areas, this study provides a "diagnosis" aiming at identifying the causes of the crisis.
The humanist ground motive of nature and freedom and the choice of anchoring scientific
certainty either in the subject or in the object of knowledge are considered the main sources of the
crisis. They lead to arbitrary absolutisations of particular aspects of the scientific enterprise and
(in the case of subjectivist approaches) to sceptical approaches to the possibility of scientific
objectivity, communication and progress.
This study also indicates a few possible resources, available in the reformational tradition, to
counteract the legitimacy crisis of science. The main resource indicated in this study is the
recognition of the structural order for reality, which is accessible to scientific analysis,
"constrains" scientific research but also constitutes a common ground for researchers. Other
important resources are the recognition of the link between scientific and pre-scientific
knowledge and the acknowledgment that universality and individuality are traits of everything