Science, truth and history, part II. metaphysical Bolt-holds for the sociology of scientific knowlege?

Historians of science have frequently sought to exclude modern scientific knowledge from their narratives. Part I of this paper, published in the previous issue, cautioned against seeing more than a literary preference at work here. In particular, it was argued—contra advocates of the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge —that a commitment to epistemological relativism should not be seen as having straightforward historiographical consequences. Part II considers further SSK-inspired attempts to entangle the currently fashionable historiography with particular positions in the philosophy of science. None, I argue, is promising. David Bloor’s proposed alliance with scientific realism relies upon a mistaken view of contrastive explanation; Andrew Pickering’s appeal to instrumentalism is persuasive for particle physics but much less so for science as a whole; and Bruno Latour’s home-grown metaphysics is so bizarre that its compatibility with SSK is, if anything, a further blow to the latter’s plausibility.Keywords: Historiography; Sociology of scientific knowledge; Contrastive explanation; Realism; Instrumentalism; Bruno Latou.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2006.12.002
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
D. Bloor (1999). Anti-Latour. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (1):81-112.
Tim Lewens (2005). Realism and the Strong Program. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (3):559-577.
Bruno Latour (1990). Postmodern? No, Simply Amodern! Steps Towards an Anthropology of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 21 (1):145-171.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen (forthcoming). Historicism and the Failure of HPS. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Jarrett Leplin (1981). Truth and Scientific Progress. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 12 (4):269-291.
B. Larvor (2003). Why Did Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions Cause a Fuss? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (2):369-390.
Donald Black (2000). Dreams of Pure Sociology. Sociological Theory 18 (3):343-367.
M. Friedman (1998). On the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge and its Philosophical Agenda. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (2):239-271.
David V. McQueen (1981). Sociology as a Science. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 12 (2):263-284.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

2 ( #553,718 of 1,727,288 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,727,288 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.