Rethinking the “strong programme” in the sociology of knowledge

It is widely believed that the “strong programme” in the sociology of knowledge comes into serious conflict with mainstream epistemology. I argue that the programme has two aspects—one modest, and the other less so. The programme’s modest aspect—best represented by the “symmetry thesis”—does not contain anything to threaten much of the epistemological mainstream, but does come into conflict with a certain kind of epistemological “externalism”. The immodest aspect, however—in the form of “finitism”—pushes the programme towards a radical form of relativism about truth. Accepting these points will allow us to put an end to much unnecessary debate surrounding the strong programme, and allow a more fruitful discussion to begin.Author Keywords: Author Keywords: Strong programme; Epistemology; Normativity; Relativism; Finitism
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2003.12.011
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References found in this work BETA
Donald Davidson (1963). Actions, Reasons, and Causes. Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685-700.
D. Bloor (1999). Anti-Latour. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (1):81-112.

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Chris Calvert-Minor (2008). The "Strong Programme", Normativity, and Social Causes. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 38 (1):1–22.

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