Science, truth and history, part II. metaphysical Bolt-holds for the sociology of scientific knowlege?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 38 (1):185-209 (2006)
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
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References found in this work BETA
Barry Barnes & David Bloor (1982). Relativism, Rationalism and the Sociology of Knowledge. In Martin Hollis & Steven Lukes (eds.), Rationality and Relativism. Blackwell.
D. Bloor (1999). Anti-Latour. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (1):81-112.
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.
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Citations of this work BETA
Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen (2011). I Am Knowledge. Get Me Out of Here! On Localism and the Universality of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):590-601.
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