The widespread impression that recent philosophy of science has pioneered exploration of the “social dimensions of scientific knowledge‘ is shown to be in error, partly due to a lack of appreciation of historical precedent, and partly due to a misunderstanding of how the social sciences and philosophy have been intertwined over the last century. This paper argues that the referents of “democracy‘ are an important key in the American context, and that orthodoxies in the (...) class='Hi'>philosophy of science tend to be molded by the actual regimes of science organization within which they are embedded. These theses are illustrated by consideration of three representative philosophers of science: John Dewey, Hans Reichenbach, and Philip Kitcher. [Copyright &y& Elsevier]. (shrink)
The International Union of History and Philosophy of Science organizing the 10th International Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science is at its cross-road: the alternative is mass-performance or creative exchange of ideas. The program is criticized because the thematic center in History and Philosophy of Science has been shifted too far into the realm of micro-fields of Logic and the time reduction for presentation and discussion of papers to 20 minutes should be (...) reconsidered. Several outstanding papers are shortly discussed: Martin-Löw on "Formalized Tarski-Semantics of Type Theory", Hoyningen-Huene on "Feyerabend and Kuhn", Leroux on "Helmholtz and Hertz", and Muller on "Bell meets Dirac". Finally the visiting-program is gratefully appreciated. (shrink)
This textbook by Martin Hollis offers an exceptionally clear and concise introduction to the philosophy of socialscience. It examines questions which give rise to fundamental philosophical issues. Are social structures better conceived of as systems of laws and forces, or as webs of meanings and practices? Is social action better viewed as rational behaviour, or as self-expression? By exploring such questions, the reader is led to reflect upon the nature of scientific method in (...) class='Hi'>socialscience. Is the aim to explain the social world after a manner worked out for the natural world, or to understand the social world from within? (shrink)
This introduction to the philosophy of socialscience provides an original conception of the task and nature of social inquiry. Peter Manicas discusses the role of causality seen in the physical sciences and offers a reassessment of the problem of explanation from a realist perspective. He argues that the fundamental goal of theory in both the natural and social sciences is not, contrary to widespread opinion, prediction and control, or the explanation of events (including behaviour). (...) Instead, theory aims to provide an understanding of the processes which, together, produce the contingent outcomes of experience. Offering a host of concrete illustrations and examples of critical ideas and issues, this accessible book will be of interest to students of the philosophy of socialscience, and social scientists from a range of disciplines. (shrink)
Professor Little presents an introduction to the philosophy of socialscience with an emphasis on the central forms of explanation in socialscience: rational-intentional, causal, functional, structural, materialist, statistical and interpretive. The book is very strong on recent developments, particularly in its treatment of rational choice theory, microfoundations for social explanation, the idea of supervenience, functionalism, and current discussions of relativism.Of special interest is Professor Little’s insight that, like the philosophy of natural (...) class='Hi'>science, the philosophy of socialscience can profit from examining actual scientific examples. Throughout the book, philosophical theory is integrated with recent empirical work on both agrarian and industrial society drawn from political science, sociology, geography, anthropology, and economics.Clearly written and well structured, this text provides the logical and conceptual tools necessary for dealing with the debates at the cutting edge of contemporary philosophy of socialscience. It will prove indispensible for philosophers, social scientists and their students. (shrink)
Continental Philosophy of SocialScience demonstrates the unique and autonomous nature of the continental approach to socialscience and contrasts it with the Anglo-American tradition. Yvonne Sherratt argues for the importance of an historical understanding of the Continental tradition in order to appreciate its individual, humanist character. Examining the key traditions of hermeneutic, genealogy, and critical theory, and the texts of major thinkers such as Gadamer, Ricoeur, Derrida, Nietzsche, Foucault, the Early Frankfurt School and Habermas, (...) she also contextualizes contemporary developments within strands of thought stemming back to Ancient Greece and Rome. Sherratt shows how these modes of thinking developed through medieval Christian thought into the Enlightenment and Romantic eras, before becoming mainstays of twentieth-century disciplines. Continental Philosophy of SocialScience will serve as the essential textbook for courses in philosophy or social sciences. (shrink)
This is an expanded and thoroughly revised edition of the widely adopted introduction to the philosophical foundations of the human sciences. Ranging from cultural anthropology to mathematical economics, Alexander Rosenberg leads the reader through behaviorism, naturalism, interpretativism about human action, and macrosocial scientific perspectives, illuminating the motivation and strategy of each.Rewritten throughout to increase accessibility, this new edition retains the remarkable achievement of revealing the social sciences’ enduring relation to the fundamental problems of philosophy. It includes new discussions (...) of positivism, European philosophy of history, causation, statistical laws, quantitative models, and postempiricist socialscience, along with a completely updated literature guide that keys chapters to widely anthologized papers. (shrink)
It is the purpose of this paper to represent an analysis of four variants of critical philosophy of science: the constructivistic methodology, the reflexion upon science from the viewpoint of the critical theory of society, the ‘social natural science’ as a further development of the finalization conception, and the projective philosophy of science. Special attention is paid to the comparison of these variants. Some points of convergence as well as of divergence among them (...) are revealed. A common shortcoming is indicated. (shrink)
The problems dealt with in The Idea of a SocialScience are philosophical. It is an attempt to place the socialscience, considered as a single group, on the intellectual map, with special attention to the relations of the discipline to philosophy on the one hand and the natural sciences on the other. The author holds that the relation between the social sciences and philosophy is commonly misunderstood because of certain fashionable misconceptions about (...) the nature of philosophy, and because of an incorrect assessment of the significance of some of Wittgenstein's contributions. He discusses the influence of the natural sciences on our conception of the social sciences and examines some of the most influential ideas of J.S. Mill, Pareto and Max Weber. (shrink)
The naturalism versus interpretivism debate the in philosophy of socialscience is traditionally framed as the question of whether socialscience should attempt to emulate the methods of natural science. I show that this manner of formulating the issue is problematic insofar as it presupposes an implausibly strong unity of method among the natural sciences. I propose instead that what is at stake in this debate is the feasibility and desirability of what I call (...) the Enlightenment ideal of socialscience. I argue that this characterization of the issue is preferable, since it highlights the central disagreement between advocates of naturalism and interpretivism, makes connections with recent work on the topics of causal inference and social epistemology, while avoiding unfruitful comparisons between the social and natural sciences. (shrink)
Social constructivists maintain that we invent the properties of the world rather than discover them. Is reality constructed by our own activity? Or, more provocatively, are scientific facts--is everything --constructed? Social Constructivism and the Philosophy of Science is a clear assessment of this critical and increasingly important debate. Andre Kukla presents a comprehensive discussion of the philosophical issues involved and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of a range of constructivist arguments, illustrating the divide between the sociology (...) and the philosophy of science through examples as varied as laboratory science, time, and criminality. He argues that current philosophical objections to constructivism are drastically inconclusive, while offering and developing new objections. Throughout, Kukla distinguishes between the social causes of scientific beliefs and the view that all ascertainable facts are constructed. (shrink)
This article examines critically Popper's arguments for a "unity of method" between natural science and socialscience. It discusses Popper's writings on the goals of science, the objects of scientific inquiry, the logic of scientific method, and the value of objectivity The major argument is that, despite his unifying intention, Popper himself provides good reasons for treating the two sciences differently. Popper proposes that social scientists follow a number of rules that are not required for, (...) and that have no direct equivalent in, natural science. For most of the cases examined here, these requirements are not simply marginal amendments to a basic methodological core; they are essentially moral or ethical in character and mark out a radically different intellectual and political enter prise. From this perspective, much of Popper's work on socialscience method ology has the character of an ethical treatise. It is argued further that Popper's accounts of the differences between natural and socialscience, and his call for moral responsibility, are based largely upon his understanding of the distinctive political threat that socialscience poses for the conduct of critical reason. (shrink)
This essay is written in the belief that it is possible to say both where Max Weber's philosophy of socialscience is mistaken and how these mistakes can be put right. Runciman argues that Weber's analysis breaks down at three decisive points: the difference between theoretical pre-suppositions and implicit value-judgements; the manner in which 'idiographic' explanations are to be subsumed under causal laws; and the relation of explanation to description in sociology. The arguments which Weber put forward (...) are fundamental to the methodology of the social sciences, and since his death it has come to be increasingly widely held that with perhaps the sole exception of Mill's System of Logic there is still no other body of work of comparable importance in the academic literature on these topics. Runciman's attempt to correct Weber's mistakes therefore constitutes in itself a valuable contribution to the philosophy of socialscience. (shrink)
W.V.Quine and Philip Kitcher have both developed naturalistic approaches to the philosophy of science which are partially based on a skeptical view about the possibility of rational inquiry into certain questions of value. Nonetheless, both Quine and Kitcher do not wish to give up on the normative dimension of the philosophy of science. I argue that Kitcher's recent argument against the specification of the goal of science in terms of truth raises a problem for Quine's (...) account of the normative dimensions of the discipline. However Kitcher’s alternative suggestion, that the goal of science is to be specified in terms of an ideal democratic procedure, does not escape this problem, given Kitcher's own limited skepticism about rational inquiry into certain questions of value. (shrink)
Philosophy of science was once a much more socially engaged endeavor, and can be so again. After a look back at philosophy of science in the 1930s-1950s, I turn to discuss the current potential for returning to a more engaged philosophy of science. Although philosophers of science have much to offer scientists and the public, I am skeptical that much can be gained by philosophers importing off-the-shelf discussions from philosophy of science (...) to science and society. Such efforts will likely look like efforts to do applied ethics by merely applying ethical theories to particular contexts and problems. While some insight can be gained by these kinds of endeavors, the most interesting and pressing problems for the actual practitioners and users of science are rarely addressed. Instead, I recommend that philosophers of science engage seriously and regularly with scientists and/or the users of science in order to gain an understanding of the conceptual issues on the ground. From such engagement, flaws in the traditional philosophical frameworks, and how such flaws can be remedied, become apparent. Serious engagement with the contexts of science thus provides the most fruit for philosophy of science per se and for the practitioners whom the philosophers aim to assist. And if one focuses on contexts where science has its most social relevance, these efforts can help to provide the thing that philosophy of science now lacks: a full-bodied philosophy of science in society. (shrink)
This is the first book in the new series, is a comprehensive introduction to philosophical problems in the social sciences, encompassing traditional and contemporary perspectives. It is readily accessible, with a firm emphasis on communicating difficult philosophical ideas clearly and effectively to those from outside this discipline. Ted Benton and Ian Craib move systematically through major topic areas, from positivism to post-structuralism, using a wide variety of examples and cases to illustrate key themes.
This volume explores Science & Technology Studies (STS) and its role in redrawing disciplinary boundaries. For scholars/grad students in rhetoric of science, science studies, philosophy & comm, English, sociology & knowledge mgmt.
Pierre Bourdieu has developed a philosophy of socialscience, grounded in the phenomenological tradition, which treats knowledge as a practical ability embodied in skilful behaviour, rather than an intellectual capacity for the representation and manipulation of propositional knowledge. He invokes Wittgenstein’s remarks on rule-following as one way of explicating the idea that knowledge is a skill. Bourdieu’s conception of tacit knowledge is a dispositional one, adopted to avoid a perceived dilemma for methodological individualism. That dilemma requires either (...) the explanation of regularities in social behaviour as the result of the tacit representation of procedural rules (‘legalism’) or the self-conscious representation of behavioural goals (‘voluntarism’) by individuals. After explaining the apparent dilemma, I then argue that Wittgenstein’s remarks on rule following actually undermine, rather than support, a dispositional solution. Nonetheless, the philosophy of socialscience can survive without a dispositional account of knowledge. Such a socialscience needs, firstly, to embrace one horn of the dilemma, voluntarism, provided that the relevant regularities can be explained as unintended consequences of agents’ self-represented intentions. Secondly, such a socialscience should treat theorists’ interpretations as unifying generalizations, not hypotheses about the acquisition of tacit knowledge. Finally, where appeal to cognitive psychology can distinguish otherwise equivalent theories in socialscience, socialscience should incorporate the data of cognitive psychology concerning tacit mental processes. (shrink)
How should philosophy of socialscience proceed? Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9592-7 Authors Harold Kincaid, Department of Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 900 13th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35294-1260, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
The concept of holism is of great use in philosophy of science. But its meaning does not correspond to the traditional use of holism in social sciences. The aim of the paper is to criticize an attempt to link the two meanings. Such a confusion derives from a misunderstanding of methodological individualism which is erroneously considered to be an atomism. Since the concepts of holism can be related to many different meanings, and since there are many different (...) models of action (including different models of rationality) behind the concept of methodological individualism, the debate should be cautious of all those differences. The papers gives a brief survey of these and discusses specific theses expressed by Vincent Descombes to support holism in social sciences. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to investigate how we can reunite socialphilosophy and philosophy of science to address problems in science and technology. First, referring to Don Howard?s, George Reisch?s, and Philip Mirowski?s works, I shall briefly explain how philosophy of science was depoliticised during the cold war. Second, I shall examine Steve Fuller?s criticism of Thomas Kuhn. Third, I shall scrutinise Philip Kitcher?s view of well-ordered science. Fourth, I shall (...) emphasise the importance of autonomy and argue that philosophy of science needs to cultivate a critical attitude towards authority. Fifth, drawing upon Ian Jarvie?s social reading of Karl Popper, I shall argue that Popper?s philosophy can be a model for reuniting socialphilosophy and philosophy of science. (shrink)
Did Adam and Eve act rationally in eating the fruit of the forbidden tree? That can seem to depend solely on whether they had found the best means to their ends, in the spirit of the 'economic' theories of rationality. Martin Hollis respects the elegance and power of these theories but judges their paradoxes endemic. He argues that social action cannot be understood by viewing human beings as abstract individuals with preferences in search of satisfaction, nor by divorcing practical (...) reason from questions of the rationality of norms, principles, practices and ends. These essays, focused on the themes of 'rational choice', 'roles and reasons' and 'other cultures, other minds', make the point and explore alternative approaches. Culled in revised form from twenty-five years' work, the essays range across periods and disciplines with a philosophical imagination and vivid prose, which will engage philosophers and social scientists alike. (shrink)
Since antiquity well into the beginnings of the 20th century geometry was a central topic for philosophy. Since then, however, most philosophers of science, if they took notice of topology at all, considered it as an abstruse subdiscipline of mathematics lacking philosophical interest. Here it is argued that this neglect of topology by philosophy may be conceived of as the sign of a conceptual sea-change in philosophy of science that expelled geometry, and, more generally, mathematics, (...) from the central position it used to have in philosophy of science and placed logic at center stage in the 20th century philosophy of science. Only in recent decades logic has begun to loose its monopoly and geometry and topology received a new chance to find a place in philosophy of science. (shrink)
The very idea of a general philosophy of science relies on the assumption that there is this thing called science—as opposed to the various individual sciences. In this programmatic piece I make a case for the claim that general philosophy of science is the philosophy of science in general or science as such. Part of my narrative makes use of history, for two reasons. First, general philosophy of science is itself (...) characterised by an intellectual tradition which aimed to develop a coherent philosophical view of science, qua a part of culture with distinctive epistemic features and a distinctive relation to reality. But, second, this tradition went through some important conceptual shifts which re-oriented it and made it more sensitive to the actual development of science itself. The historical narrative focuses on three such moments: the defining moment, associated with Aristotle, and two major conceptual turns, related to Kant and Duhem. The pressures on the very idea of a general philosophy of science that followed the collapse of the macro-models of science that became popular in the 1960s, the pressures that lay all of the emphasis on fragmentation and not on integration, can be dealt with by a new synthesis within general philosophy of science of the constitutive and the historical, in light of the intellectual tradition that has defined it. (shrink)
There is a need to bring about a revolution in the philosophy of science, interpreted to be both the academic discipline, and the official view of the aims and methods of science upheld by the scientific community. At present both are dominated by the view that in science theories are chosen on the basis of empirical considerations alone, nothing being permanently accepted as a part of scientific knowledge independently of evidence. Biasing choice of theory in the (...) direction of simplicity, unity or explanatory power does not permanently commit science to the thesis that nature is simple or unified. This current ‘paradigm’ is, I argue, untenable. We need a new paradigm, which acknowledges that science makes a hierarchy of metaphysical assumptions concerning the comprehensibility and knowability of the universe, theories being chosen partly on the basis of compatibility with these assumptions. Eleven arguments are given for favouring this new ‘paradigm’ over the current one. (shrink)
This paper gives a survey of the philosophy of science in Finland during the two decades 1970-90. Topics covered include the background (earlier studies by Eino Kaila, G. H. von Wright, and Jaakko Hintikka), the main areas of research (inductive logic, probability, truthlikeness, scientific theory, theory change, scientific realism, explanation and action, foundations of special disciplines), and the cultural impact of science studies.
This paper presents a survey of the philosophy of science in Estonia. Topics covered include the historical background (science at the 17th century Academia Gustaviana, in the 19th century, during the Soviet period) and an overview of the current situation and main areas of research (the problem of demarcation, a critique of the traditional understandings of science, φ-science, classical and non-classical science, the philosophy of chemistry, the problem of induction, the sociology of scientific (...) knowledge, semiotics as a methodology). (shrink)
Popper has proposed a ?theory of situational rationality? as a basis for the social sciences. This theory of rational action is reconstructed and its methodological and substantial implications discussed. It is shown that methodologically Popper's idea of rational action leads to a version of theoretical instrumentalism which is incompatible with his general philosophy of science, and that substantially it implies an unacceptable theory of social institutions. Instrumentalism can be avoided by a more contentful theory of human (...) action encompassing ?non?rational? or ?irrational? kinds of action; Popper's theory of institutions might be improved through a more comprehensive theory of collective action. (shrink)
In recent years, philosophy of science has witnessed a significant increase in attention directed toward the field’s social relevance. This is demonstrated by the formation of societies with related agendas, the organization of research symposia, and an uptick in work on topics of immediate public interest. The collection of papers that follows results from one such event: a 3-day colloquium on the subject of socially engaged philosophy of science (SEPOS) held at the University of Cincinnati (...) in October 2012. In this introduction, we first survey the recent history of philosophy of science’s social involvement (or lack thereof) and contrast this with the much greater social involvement of the sciences themselves. Next, we argue that the field of philosophy of science bears a special responsibility to contribute to public welfare. We then introduce as a term of art “SEPOS” and articulate what we take to be distinctive about social engagement, with reference to the articles in this collection as exemplars. Finally, we survey the current state of social engagement in philosophy of science and suggest some practical steps for individuals and institutions to support this trajectory. (shrink)
Summary It would be convenient to pretend that the histories of educational philosophy in Britain and, by extension, the USA and Australia, were responses to a common social and intellectual history but convenience in this case could only be accomplished at the expense of explanatory power. The history of educational philosophy in these three places is parallel but not in common. Philosophy of education in Britain is more closely related to philosophy than is philosophy (...) of education in the USA. Philosophy of education in the USA appropriated the lead of the American SocialScience Association and initially retained closer connections with socialscience than did its English counterpart. Nevertheless, it is argued here that educational philosophy's reference to socialscience?Victorian and modern?is the missing explanatory element in modem histories of the discipline. The appropriation of education by socialscience?a common feature of the intellectual history of education in Britain, Australasia, and the USA?leavened the research agenda of educational philosophy in Britain. Peters? educational work can be best understood as an attempt to reunite education with moral philosophy such that the study of education would resume a profile similar to its nineteenth?century counterpart, when it was moral philosophy that provided the most interesting discussions of human nature, primitive customs, and social institutions?education among them. (shrink)
The report gives a survey of the Hungarian philosophy of science after 1973. The report throws some light on the history of Hungarian philosophy in the context of the political circumstances of the late sixties and seventies. It starts with the not so well-known history of 'persecution of philosophers' in 1973. Then it treats the emergence of the philosophy of science focussing on the most significant representatives of this branch of philosophy, which was up (...) to that time almost unknown in Hungary. Due to the fact that the important results in Hungarian philosophy of science run parallel with the reception and translation of the significant products of Western philosophy, such as Wittgenstein's, Popper's, Kuhn's, or Polanyi's works, the report gives relatively significant room to treat these achievements. The last part of the report presents a survey of the younger generation of the philosophers of science, concentrating on the most important insights. (shrink)
While the extended cognition (EC) thesis has gained more followers in cognitive science and in the philosophy of mind and knowledge, our main goal is to discuss a different area of significance of the EC thesis: its relation to philosophy of science. In this introduction, we outline two major areas: (I) The role of the thesis for issues in the philosophy of cognitive science, such as: How do notions of EC figure in theories or (...) research programs in cognitive science? Which versions of the EC thesis appear, and with which arguments to support them? (II) The potentials and limits of the EC thesis for topics in general philosophy of science, such as: Can naturalism perhaps be further advanced by means of the more recent EC thesis? Can we understand “big science” or laboratory research better by invoking some version of EC? And can the EC thesis help in overcoming the notorious cognitive/social divide in science studies? (shrink)
“This book will certainly prove to be a useful resource and reference point … a good addition to anyone’s bookshelf.” Network "This is a superb collection, expertly presented. The overall conception seems splendid, giving an excellent sense of the issues... The selection and length of the readings is admirably judged, with both the classic texts and the few unpublished pieces making just the right points." William Outhwaite, Professor of Sociology, University of Sussex "... an indispensable book for all of us (...) in philosophy and the social sciences who teach and care about the shape of social knowledge in the future." Steven Seidman, Professor of Sociology, State University of New York Albany "For a comprehensive account of the ways in which world transformations affect claims to social scientific knowledge, one need look no further than Gerard Delanty and Piet Strydom's Philosophies of SocialScience . ...this collection captures nicely the increasingly engaged political nature of the philosophy of socialscience. Debates about pragmatism, feminism and postmodernism are particularly well represented" The Australian What is socialscience? How does it differ from the other sciences? What is the meaning of method in socialscience? What is the nature and limits of scientific knowledge? This collection of over sixty extracts from classic works on the philosophy of socialscience provides an essential textbook and a landmark reference in the field. It highlights the work of some of the most influential authors who have shaped socialscience. The texts explore the question of truth, the meaning of scientific knowledge, the nature of methodology and the relation of science to society, including edited extracts from both classic and contemporary works by authors such as Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, Max Weber, Alfred Schutz, Max Horkheimer, Jurgen Habermas, Alvin Gouldner, Karl-Otto Apel, Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony Giddens, Dorothy Smith, Donna Haraway, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Derrida and Claude Levi-Strauss. The readings are representative of the major schools of thought, including European and American trends in particular as well as approaches that are often excluded from mainstream traditions. From a teaching and learning perspective the volume is strengthened by extensive introductions to each of the six sections, as well as a general introduction to the reader as a whole. These introductions contextualise the readings and offer succinct summaries of them. This volume is the definitive companion to the study of the philosophy of socialscience, taught within undergraduate or postgraduate courses in sociology and the social sciences. (shrink)
Feminist philosophy of science appears to present problems for the ideal of value-free science. These difficulties also challenge a traditional understanding of the objectivity of science. However, feminist philosophers of science have good reasons for desiring to retain some concept of objectivity. The present essay considers several recent and influential feminist approaches to the role of social and political values in science, with particular focus on feminist empiricism and feminist standpoint theory. The similarities (...) and difference, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches are explored. The essay concludes with suggestions for future research in the area of feminist epistemology and philosophy of science. (shrink)
By 'positivism' its contemporary critics mean either (a) the comte-Mill views of science, Or (b) methodological naturalism, Or (c) phenomenalism and/or instrumentalism. However, Most philosophers of science are positivists on some of these criteria and antipositivists otherwise. For example, (b) may be combined with the rejection of (c), E.G., Popper; neo-Wittgensteinians, E.G., Wright, Toulmin, Kuhn, Winch, Like nineteenth century neo-Kantians and conventionalists hold instrumentalist views of language, Theories and explanation; 'positive economics' may be either instrumentalist, E.G., Friedman, Or (...) realist; instrumentalism, Contrary to popper's account, Occurs with any admixture of realism and has pioneered anti-Inductivism, Hypotheticism and theoretical pluralism. (shrink)
Continental philosophies of science tend to exemplify holistic themes connecting order and contingency, questions and answers, writers and readers, speakers and hearers. Such philosophies of science also tend to feature a fundamental emphasis on the historical and cultural situatedness of discourse as significant; relevance of mutual attunement of speaker and hearer; necessity of pre-linguistic cognition based in human engagement with a common socio-cultural historical world; role of narrative and metaphor as explanatory; sustained emphasis on understanding questioning; truth seen (...) as horizonal, aletheic, or perspectival; and a tolerance for paradoxical and complex forms of expression. Continental philosophy of science is thus more comprehensive than philosophy of science in the analytic tradition, including (and as analytic philosophy of science does not tend to include) perspectives on the history of science as well as the social and practical dimensions of scientific discovery. Where analytic philosophy is about reducing or, indeed, eliminating the perennial problems of philosophy, Continental philosophy is all about thinking and that will mean, as both Heidegger and Nietzsche emphasize, making such problems more not less problematic. (shrink)
This essay is a case study of the self-destruction that occurs in the work of a social-constructionist historian of science who embraces a radical philosophy of science. It focuses on Thomas Laqueur's Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud in arguing that a history of science committed to the social construction of science and to the central theses of Kuhnian, Duhemian, and Quinean philosophy of science is incoherent through (...) self-reference. Laqueur's text is examined in detail in order to make the main point; a similar phenomenon in the work of the feminist historian of science Evelyn Fox Keller is then briefly discussed. (shrink)
An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science provides a lively and accessible introduction to current key issues and debates in this area. The classic philosophical questions about methodology, progress, rationality and reality are addressed by reference to examples from the full range of natural and social sciences. Lisa Bortolotti uses a historically-informed perspective on the evolution of science and includes a thorough discussion of the ethical implications of scientific research. Special attention is paid to the complex (...) relationship between the advancement of science, policy making and public interest and to the continuity between scientific research and other human activities. The book is designed to help students think for themselves about the issues identified above, and includes information tables and questions for further reflection to support all stages of the teaching and learning experience, from the comprehension of primary and other secondary texts to debate and essay writing. It also includes a thematic bibliography and a glossary of technical terms. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science is an excellent introduction to philosophy for students and provides researchers of scientific disciplines with an opportunity to reflect upon the value and impact of their work. It is also a stimulating read for anybody who is interested in the philosophical issues raised by the status of scientific knowledge, the practice of science and the role of experts in contemporary society. (shrink)
Realism in Action is a selection of essays written by leading representatives in the fields of action theory and philosophy of mind, philosophy of the social sciences and especially the nature of social action, and of epistemology and philosophy of science. Practical reason, reasons and causes in action theory, intending and trying, and folk-psychological explanation are some of the topics discussed by these leading participants. A particular emphasis is laid on trust, commitments and (...) class='Hi'>social institutions, on the possibility of grounding social notions in individual social attitudes, on the nature of social groups, institutions and collective intentionality, and on common belief and common knowledge. Applications to the social sciences include, e.g., a look at the Erklären-Verstehen controversy in economics, and at constructivist and realist views on archeological reconstructions of the past. (shrink)
This collection of essays, first published two decades ago, presents central feminist critiques and analyses of natural and social sciences and their philosophies. Unfortunately, in spite of the brilliant body of research and scholarship in these fields in subsequent decades, the insights of these essays remain as timely now as they were then: philosophy and the sciences still presume kinds of social innocence to which they are not entitled. The essays focus on Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Rousseau, (...) and Marx; on the 'adversary method' model of philosophic reasoning; on principles of individuation on philosophical ontology and philosophy of language; on individualistic assumptions in psychology; functionalism in sociological and biological theory; evolutionary theory; the methodology of political science; and conceptions of objective inquiry in the sciences. In taking insights of both Liberal and Marxian women's movements into the purportedly most abstract and value-free areas of Western thought, these essays chart sexist and androcentric assumptions, claims and practices in the cognitive, technical cores of Western sciences and their philosophies. They begin to identify the distinctive aspects of women's experiences and locations in male-supremacist social structures which can provide resources needed for the creation of post-androcentric thinking in research, scholarship, and public policy. Such uses of feminist insights remain controversial today, and even among some feminists. These authors were all junior researchers and scholars two decades ago; today many are among the most distinguished senior scholars in their fields. Their work here provides a splendid opportunity for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy and the social sciences to explore some of the most intriguing and controversial challenges to disciplinary projects and to public policy today. (shrink)
Each of the three papers offers a different model for the role philosophers of science might play in consideration of the relations of science to society. These comments address common themes in the three papers, articulate further questions for each, and suggest some historical shifts that require different forms of philosophical engagement now than in the early part of the century.