A critique of relativism in the sociology of scientific knowledge

Frontiers of Philosophy in China 2 (1):115-130 (2007)
Abstract
“The Strong Programme” is put forward as a metaphysical theory of sociology by the Edinburgh School (SSK) to study the social causes of knowledge. Barry Barnes and David Bloor are the proponents of the School. They call their programme “the Relativist View of Knowledge” and argue against rationalism in the philosophy of science. Does their relativist account of knowledge present a serious challenge to rationalism, which has dominated 20th century philosophy of science? I attempt to answer this question by criticizing the main ideas of SSK and defending rationalism theories in modern philosophy of science.
Keywords truth-value of beliefs  verifiability criterion  logical rationality  relativism
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