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Sociology of Science

Edited by Markus Seidel (Westfälische Wilhelms Universität, Münster)
Assistant editor: Charlott Becker (Westfälische Wilhelms Universität, Münster)
About this topic
Summary Sociology of Science aims at an understanding of the social aspects of science. It comprises research about the social structure of the institutions of science and their relationship to other institutions as well as the influence on and construction of scientific knowledge.
Key works Barnes et al 1996 states the prominent 'Strong programme', Collins 1985 presents the sociology of science of the so-called 'Bath school', Fleck 1979 is an early classic in sociology of science, In Latour & Woolgar 1986 a constructivist approach in the sociology of science is defended, Merton 1973 is a collection of key essays by probably the most prominent sociologist of science, De Solla Price is one of the founding fathers of scientometrics , In Shapin & Schaffer 1989, you find an influential case study
Introductions Barnes et al 1996 can be read as an introduction to the field, Helen Longino's article in the Stanford Encyclopedia provides introductory insight in the social dimensions of scientific knowledge
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  1. Joseph Agassi (2009). Turner on Merton. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (2):284-293.
    Stephen Turner complains about weaknesses of Robert K. Merton's teachings without noticing that these are common. He puts down Merton's ideas despite his innovations, on the ground that they are not successful and not sufficiently revolutionary. The criteria by which he condemns Merton are too vague and too high. Merton's merit is in his having put the sociology of science on the map and drawn attention to the egalitarianism that was prominent in classical science and that is now diminished. Key (...)
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  2. Joseph Agassi (2008). Nicholas Maxwell:Is Science Neurotic?:Is Science Neurotic? Philosophy of Science 75 (4):477-479.
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  3. Joseph Agassi (1989). Symposium on the Role of the Philosopher Among the Scientists: Nuisance or Necessity? A Reply to Baigrie. Social Epistemology 3 (4):319.
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  4. Joseph Agassi (1989). The Role of the Philosopher Among the Scientists: Nuisance or Necessity? Social Epistemology 3 (4):297 – 309.
    1. Where is the trouble? Let us take it for granted that a person can be interested in researches that go on in different fields, for example, in physics and in psychology. Undoubtedly, this will raise problems not shared by a person whose research is confined to one field only. There may be difficulty in deciding which of the two is that person's primary field of interest; members of his secondary field of interest may be flattered or feel slighted or (...)
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  5. Max Albert (2011). Methodology and Scientific Competition. Episteme 8 (2):165-183.
    Why is the average quality of research in open science so high? The answer seems obvious. Science is highly competitive, and publishing high quality research is the way to rise to the top. Thus, researchers face strong incentives to produce high quality work. However, this is only part of the answer. High quality in science, after all, is what researchers in the relevant field consider to be high quality. Why and how do competing researchers coordinate on common quality standards? I (...)
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  6. Hanne Andersen (2010). Joint Acceptance and Scientific Change: A Case Study. Episteme 7 (3):248-265.
    Recently, several scholars have argued that scientists can accept scientific claims in a collective process, and that the capacity of scientific groups to form joint acceptances is linked to a functional division of labor between the group members. However, these accounts reveal little about how the cognitive content of the jointly accepted claim is formed, and how group members depend on each other in this process. In this paper, I shall therefore argue that we need to link analyses of joint (...)
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  7. Elizabeth Anderson, Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science.
    Feminist epistemology and philosophy of science studies the ways in which gender does and ought to influence our conceptions of knowledge, the knowing subject, and practices of inquiry and justification. It identifies ways in which dominant conceptions and practices of knowledge attribution, acquisition, and justification systematically disadvantage women and other subordinated groups, and strives to reform these conceptions and practices so that they serve the interests of these groups. Various practitioners of feminist epistemology and philosophy of science argue that dominant (...)
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  8. Daniel Andler (2009). Naturalism and the Scientific Status of the Social Sciences. In M. Suarez, M. Dorato & M. Rédei (eds.), EPSA: Epistemology and Methodology of Science: Launch of the European Philosophy of Science Association. Springer.
    situation in the sciences of man and show it to be fallacious. On the view to be 6 rejected, the sciences of man are undergoing the first serious attempt in history to 7 thoroughly naturalize their subject matter and thus to put an end to their separate sta- 8 tus. Progress has (on this view) been quite considerable in the disciplines in charge 9 of the individual, while in the social sciences the outcome of the process is moot: 10 the (...)
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  9. Malcolm Ashmore (1989). The Reflexive Thesis: Wrighting Sociology of Scientific Knowledge. University of Chicago Press.
    This unusually innovative book treats reflexivity, not as a philosophical conundrum, but as a practical issue that arises in the course of scholarly research and argument. In order to demonstrate the concrete and consequential nature of reflexivity, Malcolm Ashmore concentrates on an area in which reflexive "problems" are acute: the sociology of scientific knowledge. At the forefront of recent radical changes in our understanding of science, this increasingly influential mode of analysis specializes in rigorous deconstructions of the research practices and (...)
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  10. Babette E. Babich (2003). From Fleck's Denkstil to Kuhn's Paradigm: Conceptual Schemes and Incommensurability. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (1):75 – 92.
    This article argues that the limited influence of Ludwik Fleck's ideas on philosophy of science is due not only to their indirect dissemination by way of Thomas Kuhn, but also to an incommensurability between the standard conceptual framework of history and philosophy of science and Fleck's own more integratedly historico-social and praxis-oriented approach to understanding the evolution of scientific discovery. What Kuhn named "paradigm" offers a periphrastic rendering or oblique translation of Fleck's Denkstil/Denkkollektiv , a derivation that may also account (...)
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  11. Maria Baghramian (2011). Constructed Worlds, Contested Truths. In Richard Schantz & Markus Seidel (eds.), The Problem of Relativism in the Sociology of (Scientific) Knowledge. Ontos.
  12. Matthieu Ballandonne (2012). New Economics of Science, Economics of Scientific Knowledge and Sociology of Science: The Case of Paul David. Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (4):391-406.
    For a little more than twenty years, the terminology used in the economics of science has changed significantly with the development of expressions such as ?new economics of science? (NES) and ?economics of scientific knowledge? (ESK). This article seeks to shed light on the use of these different terminologies by studying the work of the economist of science Paul David. We aim to use his work as a case study in order to argue for a difference between NES and ESK (...)
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  13. Bernard Barber (1978). The Sociology of Science. Greenwood Press.
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  14. Barry Barnes (1996). Scientific Knowledge: A Sociological Analysis. Athlone.
    Although science was once seen as the product of individual great men working in isolation, we now realize that, like any other creative activity, science is a highly social enterprise, influenced in subtle as well as obvious ways by the wider culture and values of its time. Scientific Knowledge is the first introduction to social studies of scientific knowledge. The authors, all noted for their contributions to science studies, have organized this book so that each chapter examines a key step (...)
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  15. Barry Barnes (1977). Interests and the Growth of Knowledge. Routledge and K. Paul.
    THE PROBLEM OP KNOWLEDGE l CONCEPTIONS OF KNOWLEDGE An immediate difficulty which faces any discussion of the present kind is that there are so many ...
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  16. Barry Barnes (1972). Sociology of Science: Selected Readings. Harmondsworth,Penguin.
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  17. Barry Barnes & David Bloor (1982). Relativism, Rationalism and the Sociology of Knowledge. In Martin Hollis & Steven Lukes (eds.), Rationality and Relativism. Blackwell.
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  18. Barry Barnes, David Bloor & John Henry (1996). Scientific Knowledge: A Sociological Approach. University of Chicago Press.
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  19. Barry Barnes & David O. Edge (eds.) (1982). Science in Context: Readings in the Sociology of Science. Mit Press.
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  20. Seth D. Baum, Michelle Stickler, James S. Shortle, Klaus Keller, Kenneth J. Davis, Donald A. Brown, Erich W. Schienke & Nancy Tuana (2011). The Role of the National Science Foundation Broader Impacts Criterion in Enhancing Research Ethics Pedagogy. Social Epistemology 23 (3):317-336.
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  21. Michael Bavidge (2006). Getting Serious About the Second Person: Ziman's Project. Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (5):80-87.
    Professor Ziman's project in his paper 'No man is an island' is to promote the understanding of science as a social enterprise. His main enemy is what he calls 'methodological solipsism' according to which 'the world of things and beings is surveyed and interpreted from the point of view of a single individual', and scientists think of themselves as lone explorers relying only on 'the evidence of their own eyes and their rational inferences concerning the hidden mechanisms by which these (...)
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  22. Howard Becker & Helmut Otto Dahlke (1942). Max Scheler's Sociology of Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2 (3):310-322.
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  23. H. Belt (2002). Ludwik Fleck and the Causative Agent of Syphilis: Sociology or Pathology of Science? A Rejoinder to Jean Lindenmann. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (4):733-750.
    In 1905 two different microbes were proposed to fill the vacant role of etiologic agent for syphilis, one, the Cytorrhyctes luis, by John Siegel, the other, Spirochaeta pallida, by Fritz Schaudinn. After gathering and reviewing the evidence the majority of medical scientists decided in favor of Schaudinn's candidate. In a previous issue Jean Lindenmann challenged Ludwik Fleck's suggestion that under suitable social conditions Siegel's candidate could just as well have won acceptance by the scientific community (). To refute this counterfactual (...)
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  24. P. Berger & H. Kellner (1964). Marriage and the Construction of Reality: An Exercise in the Microsociology of Knowledge. Diogenes 12 (46):1-24.
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  25. Peter Berger & Thomas Luckmann (1966/1990). The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Anchor Books.
    This book reformulates the sociological subdiscipline known as the sociology of knowledge. Knowledge is presented as more than ideology, including as well false consciousness, propaganda, science and art.
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  26. A. Bird (2012). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and its Significance: An Essay Review of the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (4):859-883.
    Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions is one of the most cited books of the twentieth century. Its iconic and controversial nature has obscured its message. What did Kuhn really intend with Structure and what is its real significance? -/- 1 Introduction -/- 2 The Central Ideas of Structure -/- 3 The Philosophical Targets of Structure -/- 4 Interpreting and Misinterpreting Structure -/- 4.1 Naturalism -/- 4.2 World-change -/- 4.3 Incommensurability -/- 4.4 Progress and the nature of revolutionary change -/- 4.5 (...)
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  27. Richard J. Blackwell (1983). Science and Society: Studies in the Sociology of Science. By Joseph Agassi. Modern Schoolman 60 (3):205-205.
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  28. D. Bloor (1999). Anti-Latour. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (1):81-112.
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  29. David Bloor (2011). Relativism and the Sociology of Knowledge. In Steven Hales (ed.), A Companion to Relativism.
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  30. David Bloor (2008). Relativism at 30,000 Feet. In Massimo Mazzotti (ed.), Knowledge as Social Order: Rethinking the Sociology of Barry Barnes.
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  31. David Bloor (2007). Epistemic Grace. Antirelativism as Theology in Disguise. Common Knowledge 13 (2-3):250-280.
  32. David Bloor (2007). Ideals and Monisms: Recent Criticisms of the Strong Programme in the Sociology of Knowledge. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (1):210-234.
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  33. David Bloor (2005). Toward a Sociology of Epistemic Things. Perspectives on Science 13 (3):285-312.
    : H-J Rheinberger's book Toward a History of Epistemic Things contains a sophisticated account of scientific reference and scientific method worked out in conjunction with a case study of the laboratory synthesis of proteins. This paper offers a detailed critical analysis of Rheinberger's position from the standpoint of the sociology of scientific knowledge. The central thesis is that Rheinberger's account of reference, whether deliberately or unwittingly, assimilates discourse about the natural world to discourse about the social world. The result is (...)
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  34. David Bloor (2004). Sociology of Scientific Knowledge. In Ilkka Niiniluoto, Matti Sintonen & Jan Wolenski (eds.), Handbook of Epistemology. Kluwer. 919--962.
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  35. David Bloor (1996). Idealism and the Sociology of Knowledge. Social Studies of Science 26 (4):839-856.
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  36. David Bloor (1991). Knowledge and Social Imagery. University of Chicago Press.
    The first edition of this book profoundly challenged and divided students of philosophy, sociology, and the history of science when it was published in 1976. In this second edition, Bloor responds in a substantial new Afterword to the heated debates engendered by his book.
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  37. David Bloor (1989). Professor Campbell on Models of Language-Learning and the Sociology of Science. In Steve Fuller (ed.), The Cognitive Turn: Sociological and Psychological Perspectives on Science. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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  38. David Bloor (1983). Wittgenstein: A Social Theory of Knowledge. Columbia University Press.
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  39. David Bloor (1982). Durkheim and Mauss Revisited: Classification and the Sociology of Knowledge. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 13 (4):267--97.
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  40. David Bloor (1973). Wittgenstein and Mannheim on the Sociology of Mathematics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 4 (2):173-191.
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  41. David Bloor (1971). Two Paradigms for Scientific Knowledge? Science Studies 1:101-15.
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  42. Stuart S. Blume (1974). Toward a Political Sociology of Science. New York,Free Press.
  43. Craig Boardman & Barry Bozeman (2011). Broad Impacts and Narrow Perspectives: Passing the Buck on Science and Social Impacts. Social Epistemology 23 (3):183-198.
    We provide a critical assessment of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) “broader impacts criterion” for peer review, which has met with resistance from the scientific community and been characterized as unlikely to have much positive effect due to poor implementation and adherence to the linear model heuristic for innovation. In our view, the weakness of NSF's approach owes less to these issues than to the misguided assumption that the peer review process can be used to leverage more societal value from (...)
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  44. Jesús Zamora Bonilla (2005). Science as a Persuasion Game: An Inferentialist Approach. Episteme 2 (3):189-201.
    Scientific research is reconstructed as a language game along the lines of Robert Brandom's inferentialism. Researchers are assumed to aim at persuading their colleagues of the validity of some claims. The assertions each scientist is allowed or committed to make depend on her previous claims and on the inferential norms of her research community. A classification of the most relevant types of inferential rules governing such a game is offered, and some ways in which this inferentialist approach can be used (...)
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  45. Zamora Bonilla & P. Jesús (2006). Science Studies and the Theory of Games. Perspectives on Science 14 (4).
    : Being scientific research a process of social interaction, this process can be studied from a game-theoretic perspective. Some conceptual and formal instruments that can help to understand scientific research as a game are introduced, and it is argued that game theoretic epistemology provides a middle ground for 'rationalist' and 'constructivist' theories of scientific knowledge. In the first part ('The game theoretic logic of scientific discovery'), a description of the essential elements of game of science is made, using an inferentialist (...)
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  46. Barry Bozeman & Craig Boardman (2009). Broad Impacts and Narrow Perspectives: Passing the Buck on Science and Social Impacts. Social Epistemology 23 (3):183-198.
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  47. Dietmar Braun (2012). Why Do Scientists Migrate? A Diffusion Model. Minerva 50 (4):471-491.
    This article improves our understanding of the reasons underlying the intellectual migration of scientists from existing cognitive domains to nascent scientific fields. To that purpose we present, first, a number of findings from the sociology of science that give different insights about scientific migration. We then attempt to bring some of these insights together under the conceptual roof of an actor-based approach linking expected utility and diffusion theory. Intellectual migration is seen as the choice of scientists who decide under uncertainty (...)
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  48. Daniel Breslau (2000). Sociology After Humanism: A Lesson From Contemporary Science Studies. Sociological Theory 18 (2):289-307.
    The field of science studies is the site of an explicit reflection on the ontological premises of sociology, with rival approaches defined by distinctive ways of specifying the basic constituents of reality. This article takes advantage of this debate to compare three types of ontological schemes in terms of their internal coherence and their consequences for sociology. Sociological humanism-represented by proponents of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK)-distinguishes between an immanent domain of social relations, a transcendent and meaningless material reality, (...)
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  49. Daniel Breslau (1997). Is the Sociology of Knowledge Unethical? Social Epistemology 11 (2):217 – 222.
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  50. Stig Brorson (2000). Ludwik Fleck on Proto-Ideas in Medicine. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 3 (2):147-152.
    `Proto-idea' was a central concept in the thinking of the Polish microbiologist and philosopher of science Ludwik Fleck (1896–1961). Based on studies of the origin of the modern concept of syphilis, Fleck claimed that many established scientific facts are best understood as interpretations of pre scientific, somewhat hazy `proto-ideas' in the framework of a certain `thought-style'. As an example,Fleck saw the modern knowledge of infection as an interpretation of the ancient proto-idea of diseases as caused by minute `animalcules'. However, the (...)
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