Relativism or Relationism? A Mannheimian Interpretation of Fleck's Claims About Relativism

The paper explores the defence by the early sociologist of science Ludwik Fleck against the charge of relativism. It is shown that there are crucial and hitherto unnoticed similarities between Fleck’s strategy and the attempt by his contemporary Karl Mannheim to distinguish between an incoherent relativism and a consistent relationism. Both authors seek to revise epistemology fundamentally by reinterpreting the concept of objectivity in two ways: as inner- and inter-style objectivity. The argument for the latter concept shows the genuine political background and intent of Fleck’s sociology of science and its ambition to relieve the cultural struggles of his time
Keywords Karl Mannheim  Ludwik Fleck  Relationism  Relativism  Sociology of knowledge  Sociology of science
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DOI 10.1007/s10838-011-9163-z
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Tamás Demeter (2012). Introduction. Studies in East European Thought 64 (1-2):1-4.

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