Now, the empiriological description of nature is essentially what Sellars calls the “scientific image” of the world, as opposed to the “manifest image” of common sense and ordinary experience. Since the subclass of “empirioschematic” sciences make use of concepts that are widely regarded as merely regulative rather than corresponding to anything in mind-independent reality, there is a tendency to identify the scientific image, strictly construed, with the emperiometric description of the world, specifically – that is to say, with a mathematicised conception of nature of the kind toward which the “mechanical world picture” tended, and that has become definitive of modern physics. That is not to say that those who take the scientific image to exhaust reality would all hold that everything real can be reduced to entities within the ontology of physics. Some would say instead that everything real need only supervene on the latter. Either way, though, for those who take the scientific image to be an exhaustive picture of reality, the ontology of physics “wears the trousers,” as it were.
… The basic idea of this “absolute conception” is to construct a description of the world that is entirely free of any explicit or implicit reference to the point of view of any particular observer, or any particular type of observer. As Nagel emphasizes, the conception in question regards anything that depends on the point of view of particular observers as “subjective,” and thus it takes itself to be by contrast an entirely “objective” description. … The distinction between primary and secondary qualities became the standard way of expressing the idea, with secondary qualities regarded as reflecting the observer’s subjective point of view and primary qualities alone constituting the truly objective features of reality. (p. 133)
Part of what this chapter has been concerned to show is that the manifest image, the world as it appears from the “subjective” point of view of the conscious subject, cannot coherently be eliminated and replaced entirely by the “objective” or “absolute” perspective of the scientific image. For the latter presupposes the former, in two fundamental respects. First, abandoning the manifest image while trying to maintain the scientific image is tantamount to attempting to keep the apex of the “arch of knowledge” aloft while destroying its feet and legs. As Colin McGinn writes, the scientific image “purchases [its] absoluteness at the cost of removing itself from the perceptual standpoint” (1983, p. 127). Hence, “to abandon the subjective view is to abandon the possibility of experience of the world” (p. 127), and thus to abandon the evidence of observation and experiment on the basis of which the claims of the scientific image are supposed to be justified. It is also to abandon the reasoning processes that take us from that empirical evidence up to the scientific image and then back down from it to testable predictions. For the subjective view includes the cognitive (as well as the perceptual) states and processes of the scientist. (Edward Feser, Aristotle's Revenge, 134)
In short, an “objective” description is itself an extension of the “subjective” point of view, and the scientific image is itself merely a component of the manifest image. (p. 135)
The practice of science involves human beings, and humans with regards to both their practices and theory choices are not objective. That said, the shift from seeing science as this objective enterprise that scientists are involved in to something that focuses on the subjectivity of scientists is in my opinion a swing from one extreme to the other extreme.
Thomas Kuhn in dealing with the history of science took note of the changes in paradigms that have taken place in science. He had noted how paradigms are by nature resistant to change until a crisis occur due to one too many breakdowns with the older paradigm. While this idea of "crisis" was overplayed by Kuhn in his early formulations of his philosophy of science, there is a sense in which crises do precipitate major changes, even if not all major changes come about through crises. Kuhn's historicist focus however does not necessarily imply any form of relativism, for the simple reason that scientists are genuinely searching for the objective truth. The problems with paradigms is not that they are "socially constructed," but rather the reason why different paradigms emerge is because of the finitude of human knowing even as it grasps after objective reality. This is seen in the problem of induction that pervades science, such that science while grasping after truth can never fully attain it.
Having said this, it is because there is a grasping after objective truth that science does to some degree approximate the truth, and scientific laws approximate the laws of nature. That is why, while Newton's Laws of Gravitation are superseded by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, Newton's formulas can still be used in most cases where the effect of gravity on the curvature of space-time is not significant. Science is not pure objective truth, but it does approximate it to some degree.
It is because of this that Edward Feser's view concerning science is disturbing. Feser's position, while not being fully subjective, undermines the objectivity of science in such a manner that the subjectivity of scientists must be considered in science itself. It is understandable why Feser would do this so he can bring Aristotelian teleology into science, but the argument he uses is flawed. The issue with regards to science is whether there is something beyond the practice of science, and I will assert that there are in fact laws of nature that science as a discipline grasps after, albeit imperfectly. Since science grasps after the laws of nature, the subjective striving of scientists should be seen as an artifact of the discipline of science, not as part of the subject of science. For Feser, science needs to encompass the practice of scientists in understanding their observations, instead of focusing on the imperfect practice of scientists in attempting to understand the objective truths of nature. For Feser, perceptions informs science, while I would suggest it is nature that informs science, with perception being the instrument of knowing.. In other words, Feser in my opinion confuses the process of science with the subject of science, and this I think is a major categorical error on his part.
Science seeks to understand how the natural world works. It seeks to understand objectively how the world is run. Thus for example, it is either true or false that penicillin kills dangerous bacteria, and we can test that hypothesis out. The subjectivity of the scientist, while ever present, does not add or subtract from the fact that penicillin does in fact kill harmful (non antibiotic resistant) bacteria. In the laws of motion, Newton's First Law is either true or false, and the subjectivity of the scientist does not color its truth. From these two example, it should be seen that the subject of science itself is not focused on the process of observation and explaining observation, but about the facts of how the world actually works.
When it comes to complex theories and meta-theories, meta-narratives of science, then subjectivity plays an ever increasing role since human judgment is used in theory choice and construction. This is why scientific theories can be totally false, but this is not to deny their aspirations towards the objective truth, for human error does not disprove scientific truth.
Feser's conflation of process with subject has resulted in his attempt to insert subjectivity into the subject of science, instead of keeping it to the practice of science. The laws of nature are mind-independent, and Feser's arguments to undermine science's objective referent should be rejected.