David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Explorations 7 (3):265 – 279 (2004)
This paper provides a conceptual analysis of the notion of interests as it is used in the social studies of science. After describing the theoretical background behind the Strong Program's adoption of the concept of interest, the paper outlines a reconstruction of the everyday notion of interest and argues that this same notion is used also by the sociologists of scientific knowledge. However, there are a couple of important differences between the everyday use of this notion and the way in which it used by the sociologists. The sociologists do not use the term in evaluative context and they do not regard interests as purely non-epistemic factors. Finally, it is argued that most of the usual critiques of interest explanations, by both philosophers and fellow sociologists, are misguided.
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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.
Steven Shapin & Simon Schaffer (1989). Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life. Princeton University Press.
Jürgen Habermas (1978/1971). Knowledge and Human Interests. Heinemann Educational.
Ronald N. Giere (1991). Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach. Philosophical Review 100 (4):653-656.
Bruno Latour & Steven Woolgar (1986). Laboratory Life; The Construction of Scientific Facts. Princeton University Press.
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