The very idea of social epistemology: What prospects for a truly radical 'radically naturalized epistemology'?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Inquiry 34 (3 & 4):377 – 389 (1991)
Steve Fuller's social epistemology aims to integrate the philosophy of science and sociology of science, and to enhance the ability of these disciplines to contribute to science policy. While applauding the re?vitalizing energy of the enterprise, a sociological perspective requires attention to four key aspects of the programme. First, the character of interdisciplinarity requires careful specification, lest the critical dynamic of social studies of science be compromised by calls to pluralism. Second, social epistemology can and should transcend the traditional epistemological attribution of positions ('positionism') to protagonists. Third, the argumentative dynamic of social studies of science, which enables the successive reconceptualization of ?epistemic? matters, suggests some problems for social epistemology's use of ?sociological results?. Finally, social epistemology requires a more sociologically informed understanding of what in practice counts as normative research, since the current programme trades upon unexamined conceptions of policy audience
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References found in this work BETA
Bruno Latour (1987). Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society. Harvard University Press.
David Bloor (1991). Knowledge and Social Imagery. University of Chicago Press.
Bruno Latour & Steven Woolgar (1986). Laboratory Life; The Construction of Scientific Facts. Princeton University Press.
K. Knorr-Cetina (1981). The Manufacture of Knowledge: An Essay on the Constructivist and Contextual Nature of Science. Pergamon Press.
Andrew Pickering (ed.) (1992). Science as Practice and Culture. University of Chicago Press.
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