The Congress for Cultural Freedom is remembered as a paramount example of the “cultural cold wars.” In this paper, I discuss the ways in which this powerful transnational organization sought to promote “sciencestudies” as a distinct – and politically relevant – area of expertise, and part of the CCF broader agenda to offer a renewed framework for liberalism. By means of its Study Groups, international conferences and its periodicals, such as Minerva, the Congress developed into an influential (...) forum for examining the ways Big Science impacted the relations between science, society, and politics, thus constituting a semi-institutional niche for ScienceStudies before its professionalization within academia during the 1970s. I argue that the Congress contributed to the construction of public space in which the relations between science, society and politics were debated, and science was reconceptualized as a social activity. The vision of “sciencestudies” the CCF-associated intellectuals promulgated was different from the sciencestudies we know today. Yet, this alternative vision, in which the issues of science politics appeared inseparable from those of science policy, science organization, and science governance, constituted the “pre-history” of sciencestudies today. (shrink)
This article outlines the distinctive contribution of Marxism to sciencestudies. It traces the trajectory of Marxist ideas through the decades from the origins of Marxism to the present conjuncture. It looks at certain key episodes, such as the arrival of a Soviet delegation at the International History of Science Congress in London in 1931, as well as subsequent interactions between Marxists and exponents of other positions at later international congresses. It focuses on the impact of several (...) generations of Marxists who have engaged with science in diverse ways. It examines the influence of Marxism on contemporary trends in sciencestudies. It concludes that Marxism survives in circuitous and complex ways. It argues not only for a positive interpretation of its contribution in the past but for its explanatory and ethical power in the present and future. (shrink)
This article examines the communication networks within and between science and technology studies (STS) and the history of science. In particular, journal relatedness data are used to analyze some of the structural features of their disciplinary identities and relationships. The results first show that, although the history of science is more than half a century older than STS, the size of the STS network is more than twice that of the history of science network. Further, (...) while a majority of the journals in the STS network are connected by weak ties, about half of the history of science network consists of strong ties. The history of science network is thus more cohesive than the STS network. The relatively strong cohesion within the history of science network is associated with comparatively high degrees of intra-disciplinary communication, but comparatively weak ties to only a few related disciplines. The analysis also shows that very few members of the history of science cliques are situated on the shortest path between both specialties. Moreover, given the relatively impermeable nature of the history of science network, the latter partially depends on STS to reach some of the neighboring disciplines. (shrink)
This article analyzes the transformation of Minerva from an intellectual towards a scholarly journal by making use of bibliometric methods. The aim is to provide some empirical insights that help to understand what properties of the journal changed in the course of this transformation process. Minerva was one of the first journals that reflected on science and its role in society and science policy in particular. Analyzing the development of the journal sheds light on the emergence of (...) class='Hi'>science (policy) studies and on Minerva’s role as a forerunner in this field. In a first step, the methods will be described. The second section provides some empirical results of the publication output of Minerva and its relations to other journals in the field. The empirical findings are put into a broader perspective in the concluding third section. (shrink)
: The relationship between facts and values—in particular, naturalism and normativity—poses an ongoing challenge for feminist sciencestudies. Some have argued that the fact/value holism of W.V. Quine's naturalized epistemology holds promise. I argue that Quinean epistemology, while appropriately naturalized, might weaken the normative force of feminist claims. I then show that Quinean epistemic themes are unnecessary for feminist sciencestudies. The empirical nature of our work provides us with all the naturalized normativity we need.
If feminists argue for the irreducibility of the social dimensions of science, then they ought to embrace the idea that feminist and non-feminist scientists are not in collaboration, but in fact defend different interests. Instead, however, contemporary feminist sciencestudies literature argues that feminist research improves particular, existing scientific enterprises, both epistemically (truer claims) and politically (more democratic methodologies and applications). I argue that the concepts of empirical success and democracy at work in this literature from Longino (...) (1994) and Harding (1996), to Longino (2002), Gilbert and Rader (2001), and Keller (2001) are not sufficiently critical, and fail to do justice to the truly revolutionary work done by feminist scientists. I offer the beginnings of an epistemology of dissensus (as opposed to consensus), using the work of Haraway (1978), Lyotard (1984), and Ziarek (2001). How would such an epistemology relate to feminist discussions of the possibility of democratic, responsible knowledge? (shrink)
Naukovedenie (literarily meaning ‘sciencestudies’), was first institutionalized in the Soviet Union in the twenties, then resurfaced and was widely publicized in the sixties, as a new mode of reflection on science, its history, its intellectual foundations, and its management, after which it dominated Soviet historiography of science until perestroika . Tracing the history of meta-studies of science in the USSR from its early institutionalization in the twenties when various political, theoretical and institutional struggles (...) set the stage for the development of the field, to the sixties when the field resurfaced within the particular political context of the Cold War, and using the history of Moscow Institute for the History of Science and Technology as a case-study, I situate Soviet naukovedenie project within the culture of late-socialism in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, asking what this discourse meant for its creators and practitioners, as well as for the high-ranked Soviet officials who provided the authoritative support for this field. (shrink)
: ScienceStudies, as developed initially in France attempt to overcome the distinctions between science and society, and correspondingly between the philosophy of science and political and social theory. ScienceStudies considers the theories and beliefs of scientists political rather than direct reflections of an objective natural world. I consider here ScienceStudies as a political theory that emerged and has developed in reaction to a particular social and political context, a crisis (...) of technocratic politics in France. Some of the leading contemporary French exponents ScienceStudies, a group around the journal. (shrink)
There seems the prospect, at this juncture, of articulating programs of research in sciencestudies that will be genuinely interdisciplinary, integrating philosophical, historical, and sociological/anthropological interests in science. This introduction describes the rationale for the symposium, "Discourse, Practice, Context," to which four contributors were invited whose work across disciplinary boundaries puts them in a position to take stock of these initiatives and their impact on existing disciplinary practice.
This paper consists of two parts: the first is a brief historical summary of relevant discussions to date involving members of the panel; the second part is a discussion of the new contextualism within sciencestudies, the consequent move towards the cultural study of scientific knowledge, and what this means for intellectual/cultural historians of science in terms of specific procedures. Thus, my role on this panel-as I understand it-- will be to play the sociologically and philosophically minded (...) historian to the sociologically and historically minded philosophers as all of us attempt to adapt cross-disciplinary procedures to our specific disciplinary needs. (shrink)
This article asks whether an interdisciplinary "critical sciencestudies" (CSS) is possible between a critical theory in the Frankfurt School tradition, with its commitment to universal standards of reason, and relativistic sociologies of scientific knowledge (e.g., David Bloor's strong programme). It is argued that CSS is possible if its practitioners adopt the epistemological equivalent of Rawls's method of avoidance. A discriminating, public policyrelevant critique of science can then proceed on the basis of an argumentation theory that employs (...) an immanent standard of relevance, which is illustrated by drawing on Helen Longino's critique of behavioral theory. (shrink)
I want to make plausible the following claim:Analyzing scientific inquiry as a species of socially distributed cognition has a variety of advantages for sciencestudies, among them the prospects of bringing together philosophy and sociology of science. This is not a particularly novel claim, but one that faces major obstacles. I will retrace some of the major steps that have been made in the pursuit of a distributed cognition approach to sciencestudies, paying special attention (...) to the promise that such an approach holds out for bridging the rift between philosophy and the social studies of science. (shrink)
The field of sciencestudies is the site of an explicit reflection on the ontological premises of sociology, with rival approaches defined by distinctive ways of specifying the basic constituents of reality. This article takes advantage of this debate to compare three types of ontological schemes in terms of their internal coherence and their consequences for sociology. Sociological humanism-represented by proponents of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK)-distinguishes between an immanent domain of social relations, a transcendent and meaningless (...) material reality, and an intermediate, socially constructed level of knowledge, meaning, and culture. Symmetrical humanism-as found in the recent writings of Andrew Pickering-insists that society too should be placed among the constructions, thereby disqualifying it as a source of explanations for human agency and leaving a detached and self-moving human agent. The relational ontology-exemplified by the "actor-network" approach of Bruno Latour and others-makes no a priori distinctions between humans and others, or between transcendent reality and construction, treating these properties as outcomes. The two humanist approaches are found to be incoherent as ontological schemes and also, contrary to the assumptions of the current debate, inimical to sociological explanation. And contrary to the antisociological stance of the actor-network approach, it is found that the relational ontology provides a consistent basis for sociological explanations of human practices. (shrink)
This paper examines the conclusions that one must draw from the finding that there are values in science. The value-ladenness of scientific claims puts the nature and role of empirical evidence into question, as seen in recent discussions in the philosophy of medicine regarding evidence-based medicine and feminist sciencestudies, which maintains the normativity of its feminist claims. Within the critical literature and debates surrounding evidence-based medicine (EBM), one finds a championing of the lessons learned from post-positivist (...)sciencestudies: the evidence-based effort to ground medical decision-making in the most rigorous sources of scientific evidence obscures the social values that necessarily enter into all decision-making contexts, the complex social context of clinical practice being no exception. The critics of EBM claim that to try to derive a formal methodology governed by pre-established rules, guidelines, and hierarchies of information misplaces the contextual and social features of biomedical knowledge and practice, thereby obscuring the power interests that so problematically dictate large factions of biomedical research and practice. Yet possible relativist implications follow from this finding, and we find that the EBM critics amply criticize EBM’s tacit theory of evidence, but then fail to formulate a constructive alternative theory of evidence within this fact-value interplay. After overviewing some such criticisms of evidence-based medicine, I turn to contemporary critical sciencestudies, especially the feminist empiricism of Lynn Hankinson Nelson and Helen Longino, for workable alternative theories of evidence within a framework of normative scientific claims. I will suggest these theories fail to guide medical decision-making because of some undesirable consequences of Quinean fact-value holism: the denial that our values have logical content and are therefore not empirically examinable relativises even these nuanced conceptions of evidence. A naturalized look at how facts and values actually interact in medical decision-making suggests that this fact/value holism is not realistic. I provide an illustrative example of a physician devising a treatment recommendation for a patient to demonstrate that in practice, facts and values intermingle in the decision-making process without indeterminacy and subsequent appeals to moral and political frameworks, as feminist empiricism suggests. In the end, value-laden evidence can retain its adjudicative force and normativity. (shrink)
: This paper explores models of reflexive feminist sciencestudies through the work of Donna Haraway. The paper argues that Haraway provides an important account of sciencestudies that is both feminist and constructivist. However, her concepts of "situated knowledges" and "diffraction" need further development to be adequate models of feminist sciencestudies. To develop this constructivist and feminist project requires a collective research program that engages with feminist reflexivity as a practice.
Marxist roots of sciencestudies Content Type Journal Article Category Essay Review Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9647-4 Authors Nils Roll-Hansen, Institute of Philosophy, University of Oslo, PB 1024 Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
: Being scientific research a process of social interaction, this process can be studied from a game-theoretic perspective. Some conceptual and formal instruments that can help to understand scientific research as a game are introduced, and it is argued that game theoretic epistemology provides a middle ground for 'rationalist' and 'constructivist' theories of scientific knowledge. In the first part ('The game theoretic logic of scientific discovery'), a description of the essential elements of game of science is made, using an (...) inferentialist conception of rationality. In the second part ('Sociology of science and its rational reconstructions'), some ideas for the reconstruction of case studies are introduced, and applied to one example: Latour's analysis of Joliot's attempt to build an atomic bomb. Lastly, in the third part ('Fact making games'), a formal analysis of the constitution of scientific consensus is offered. (shrink)
The role of psychology in sciencestudies Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9666-1 Authors Paul Thagard, Philosophy Department, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
During the past hundred years or so, those scholars studying science have isolated themselves as much as possible from scientists as well as from workers in other disciplines who study science. The result of this effort is history of science, philosophy of science and sociology of science as separate disciplines. I argue in this paper that now is the time for these disciplinary boundaries to be lowered or at least made more permeable so that a (...) unified discipline of ScienceStudies might emerge. I discuss representative problems that stand in the way of such an integration. These problems may seem so formidable in the abstract that no one in their right mind would waste their time trying to bring about a unified field of ScienceStudies. However, those of us who limit ourselves to the study of the biological sciences have already formed a society in which workers from all disciplines can share their expertise -- the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science. (shrink)
This article addresses some recent tendencies in economic methodology defined as a philosophy of science for economics. I review the problem of normative/positive distinction in methodology and argue that normativity in its past forms is intolerable today but is, at the same time, indispensable for methodological inquiry. Using recent texts by Mirowski and Nik-Khah and by Alexandrova and Northcott on the applications of auction theory as a case study, I compare in more detail various approaches to economic methodology inspired (...) by the science and technology studies (STS) and philosophy of science literatures, respectively. On the basis of this comparison, I show that the STS programme in economic methodology may prove fruitful in the future, but there is still a place for more aprioristic philosophical thinking. Methodology and history of economics also play a fundamental role that goes beyond the descriptive analysis of STS and offer conceptual clarification paired with normative concerns provided by philosophers of science. (shrink)
Research in Science and Technology Studies (STS) tends to presume that intellectual and political radicalism go hand in hand. One would therefore expect that the most intellectually radical movement in the field relates critically to its social conditions. However, this is not the case, as demonstrated by the trajectory of the Parisian School of STS spearheaded by Michel Callon and Bruno Latour. Their position, "actor-network theory," turns out to be little more than a strategic adaptation to the democratization (...) of expertise and the decline of the strong nation-state in France over the past 25 years. This article provides a prehistory of this client-driven, contract-based research culture in U.S. sociology of the 1960s, followed by specific features of French philosophical and political culture that have bred the distinctive tenets of actor-network theory. Insofar as actor-network theory has become the main paradigm for contemporary STS research, it reflects a field that dodges normative commitments in order to maintain a user-friendly presence. (shrink)
It is an unfortunate fact of academic life that there is a sharp divide between science and philosophy, with scientists often being openly dismissive of philosophy, and philosophers being equally contemptuous of the naivete ́ of scientists when it comes to the philosophical underpinnings of their own discipline. In this paper I explore the possibility of reducing the distance between the two sides by introducing science students to some interesting philosophical aspects of research in evolutionary biology, using biological (...) theories of the origin of religion as an example. I show that philosophy is both a discipline in its own right as well as one that has interesting implications for the understanding and practice of science. While the goal is certainly not to turn science students into philoso- phers, the idea is that both disciplines cannot but benefit from a mutual dialogue that starts as soon as possible, in the classroom. (shrink)
Philosophers, historians, and sociologists of science have grown interested in the daily practices of scientists. Recent studies have drawn linkages between scientific innovations and more ordinary procedures, craft skills, and sources of sponsorship. These studies dispute the idea that science is the application of a unified method or the outgrowth of a progressive history of ideas. This book critically reviews arguments and empirical studies in two areas of sociology that have played a significant role in (...) the 'sociological turn' in sciencestudies: ethnomethodology (the study of ordinary practical reasoning) and the sociology of scientific knowledge. In both fields, efforts to study scientific practices have led to intractable difficulties and debates, due in part to scientistic and foundationalist commitments that remain entrenched with social-scientific research policies and descriptive language. The central purpose of this book is to explore the possibility of an empirical approach to the epistemic contents of science that avoids the pitfalls of scientism and foundationalism. (shrink)
This volume explores Science & Technology Studies (STS) and its role in redrawing disciplinary boundaries. For scholars/grad students in rhetoric of science, sciencestudies, philosophy & comm, English, sociology & knowledge mgmt.
Two of Bourdieuâ€™s fundamental contributions to science studiesâ€”the reflexive analysis of the social and human sciences and the concept of an intellectual fieldâ€”are used to frame a reflexive study of the history and social studies of science and technology as an intellectual field in the United States. The universe of large, Ph.D.-granting graduate programs is studied in two parts. In the first analysis, relations between institutional position and disciplinary type are explored by department. A positive correlation exists (...) between historians of science and institutional position (as higher prestige or capital). In the second analysis, attention to intellectual tastes for research topics is explored at an individual level with respect to departmental position and the individualâ€™s discipline and gender. Scholars in nonelite history of science departments have low field interest in democracy, social movements, or public participation; environment or sustainability; and gender, race, or sexuality; whereas those in history of technology programs and nonelite STS programs have a higher field interest in those areas, and historians of technology have a higher interest in class or labor issues. Among social scientists, there is a higher interest among scholars in nonelite programs in environment or sustainability and in democracy, social movements, or public participation. (shrink)
Abstract Science and technology studies (STS) has perhaps provided the most ambitious set of challenges to the boundary separating history and philosophy of science since the 19th century idealists and positivists. STS is normally associated with `social constructivism', which when applied to history of science highlights the malleability of the modal structure of reality. Specifically, changes to what is (e.g. by the addition or removal of ideas or things) implies changes to what has been, can be (...) and might be. Latour's account of Pasteur's scientific achievement is a case in point. Two polar attitudes towards the world's modal malleability are identified: over - and under - determination, which correspond, respectively, to a belief in the inevitability and the precariousness of science as a form of knowledge. The distinctness of these positions reflects a cordon sanitaire between the history and the philosophy of science. Consequently, historical agents are not given full voice as constructors of reality: They are either quarantined to a foreign realm called `the past' by the historian or selectively assimilated to an imperial present by the philosopher. The second half of the essay explores what it might mean to restore a robust sense of reality construction to the historical agents. My case in point here is that of the 13th century Franciscan friar, Roger Bacon, who has been alternatively seen as a mad medieval or a proto-modernist. To give Bacon full voice would involve taking the future that he envisaged as a normative benchmark for judging our own world. (shrink)
When the journal Minerva was founded in 1962, science and higher educational issues were high on the agenda, lending impetus to the interdisciplinary field of “ScienceStudies” qua “Science Policy Studies.” As government expenditures for promoting various branches of science increased dramatically on both sides of the East-West Cold War divide, some common issues regarding research management also emerged and with it an interest in closer academic interaction in the areas of history and policy (...) of science. Through a close reading of many early issues of Minerva but also of its later competitor journal ScienceStudies (now called Social Studies of Science) the paper traces the initial optimism of an academically based ScienceStudies dialogue across the Cold War divide and the creation in 1971 of the International Commission for Science Policy Studies as a bridging forum, one that Minerva strangely chose to ignore. In this light, attention is drawn to aspects of the often forgotten history of ScienceStudies in the former Soviet Union and the Eastern European block. Reviewed also are several early discussions that are still relevant today: e.g., regarding differing concepts of Big Science, science and democracy, autonomy in higher education and what conditions are necessary to sustain academic freedom and scientific integrity (some of Edward Shils’ primary concerns). Finally, it is noted how the question of quantitative methods to measure scientific productivity lay at the heart of a “Science of Science” movement of the 1960s has re-emerged in a new form integral to the notion of a “Science of Science Policy.”. (shrink)
The prehistory of science and technology studies -- The Kuhnian revolution -- Questioning functionalism in the sociology of science -- Stratification and discrimination -- The strong programme and the sociology of knowledge -- The social construction of scientific and technical realities -- Feminist epistemologies of science -- Actor-network theory -- Two questions concerning technology -- Studying laboratories -- Controversies -- Standardization and objectivity -- Rhetoric and discourse -- The unnaturalness of science and technology -- The (...) public understanding of science -- Expertise and public participation -- Political economies of knowledge. (shrink)
Editor James Fetzer presents an analytical and historical introduction and a comprehensive bibliography together with selections of many of Carl G. Hempel's most important studies to give students and scholars an ideal opportunity to appreciate the enduring contributions of one of the most influential philosophers of science of the 20th century.
Science and Technology Studies (STS) is a broad, interdisciplinary, and rapidly growing field that explores the relationship between science, technology and the ways they shape society and our understanding of the world. But as the field has become more established, it has increasingly hidden its philosophical roots. While the trend is typical of disciplines striving for maturity, Steve Fuller, a leading figure in the field, argues that STS has much to lose if it abandons philosophy. He argues (...) that the discipline is rooted in a variety of philosophical assumptions that, until now, have remained unarticulated, undefended and misunderstood. In his characteristically provocative style, he offers the first sustained treatment of the philosophical foundations of STS and suggests fruitful avenues for further research. With stimulating discussions of the Science Wars, the Intelligent Design Theory controversy, and theorists such as Donna Haraway and Bruno Latour, Philosophy of Science and Technology Studies is destined to become required reading for students and scholars in STS and the philosophy of science. (shrink)
: Philosophers of science turned to historical case studies in part in response to Thomas Kuhn's insistence that such studies can transform the philosophy of science. In this issue Joseph Pitt argues that the power of case studies to instruct us about scientific methodology and epistemology depends on prior philosophical commitments, without which case studies are not philosophically useful. Here I reply to Pitt, demonstrating that case studies, properly deployed, illustrate styles of scientific (...) work and modes of argumentation that are not well handled by currently standard philosophical analyses. I illustrate these claims with exemplary findings from case studies dealing with exploratory experimentation and with interdisciplinary cooperation across sciences to yield multiple independent means of access to theoretical entities. The latter cases provide examples of ways that scientists support claims about theoretical entities that are not available in work performed within a single discipline. They also illustrate means of correcting systematic biases that stem from the commitments of each discipline taken separately. These findings illustrate the transformative power of case study methods, allow us to escape from the horns of Pitt's "dilemma of case studies," and vindicate some of the post-Kuhn uses to which case studies have been put. (shrink)
Engaged scholarship is an intellectual movement sweeping across higher education, not only in the social and behavioral sciences but also in fields of natural science and engineering. It is predicated on the idea that major advances in knowledge will transpire when scholars, while pursuing their research interests, also consider addressing the core problems confronting society. For a workable engaged agenda in science and technology studies, one that informs scholarship as well as shapes practice and policy, the traditional (...) terms of engagement must be renegotiated to be more open and mutual than has historically characterized the nature of inquiry in this field. At the same time, it is essential to protect individual privacy and preserve government confidentiality. Yet there is a scientific possibility for and benefit to introducing more collaborative and deliberative research approaches between scholar and subject in ways that will not violate these first-order ethics. To make the case, this article discusses the possibilities and perils of engaged science and technology scholarship by drawing on our own recent experiences to conduct and apply STS research while embedded in the National Science Foundation. Brief accounts of these experiences reveal the opportunities as well as the challenges of engaged scholarship. They also provide lessons for those fellow travelers who might follow the authors to this or other like host organizations with ambitions of increasing fundamental knowledge about and applying research to the policies, programs, and decisions of the scientific enterprise. (shrink)
The paper introduces cultural studies of science as an alternative to the "legitimation project" in philosophy and sociology of science. The legitimation project stems from belief that the epistemic standing and cultural authority of the sciences need general justification, and that such justification (or its impossibility) arises from the nature or characteristic aim of the sciences. The paper considers three central themes of cultural studies apart from its rejection of these commitments to the legitimation project: first, (...) focus upon the sciences as ongoing and dynamic practices; second, a deflationary and non-representationalist approach to understanding scientific knowledge; and third, foregrounding questions about the significance of scientific practices, statements, and the objects they engage, and how that significance changes within ongoing practices. (shrink)
This paper recommends how authors of statistical studies can communicate to general audiences fully, clearly, and comfortably. The studies may use statistical methods to explore issues in science, engineering, and society or they may address issues in statistics specifically. In either case, readers without explicit statistical training should have no problem understanding the issues, the methods, or the results at a non-technical level. The arguments for those results should be clear, logical, and persuasive. This paper also provides (...) advice for editors of general journals on selecting high quality statistical articles without the need for exceptional work or expense. Finally, readers are also advised to watch out for some common errors or misuses of statistics that can be detected without a technical statistical background. (shrink)
The present paper traces the trajectory of the development of Husserl’s phenomenology from its incipient eidetic phase over the transcendental to the lifeworld-phenomenological, and ascertains that, in spite of all their complexities, the idea of Zu den Sachen selbst is the very objective of all those ‘phenomenological’investigations. The search after the ‘immediately given’ (Vorgegebenheiten) finally discovers that the concrete cultural life-worlds are the authentically ‘immediatelypre-given’ and all kinds of knowledge and sciences (higher cultural configurations) are nothing but idealizations of those (...) floor-like concrete life-worlds. Phenomenology previously as rigorous first science is now re-oriented as phenomenology as rigorous (i.e., transcendental) regional studies. Transcendental regional studies (i.e., life-world phenomenology), I’d like to argue, is the very key to the resolution of the ambiguities of the concept of life-world as well as the key to the understanding of the vague future direction of phenomenological philosophizing that Husserl himself left open. (shrink)
This paper points out the vagueness and methodological naivete of current anti-normative studies of science. The Tversky-Kahneman paradigm catalogues common 'mistakes' in statistical reasoning, but fails to describe and explain people's embarrassment when these 'mistakes' are pointed out to them. A comprehensive naturalistic account of science should not limit itself to the quick-and-dirty aspects of scientific practice. The semantic view of theories is faulted for failing to account for the processes of prediction and explanation. I also argue (...) against Baltas' examples of ideological assumptions which are purported to be impossible to criticize during certain historical periods. (shrink)
Integrating pragmatism and phenomenology with science and technology studies Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9484-2 Authors Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Boltzmannstraße 22, 14195 Berlin, Germany Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Bringing Pierre Bourdieu to Science and Technology Studies Content Type Journal Article Pages 263-273 DOI 10.1007/s11024-011-9174-2 Authors Mathieu Albert, Wilson Centre and Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 200 Elizabeth Street , Eaton-South 1-581, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4, Canada Daniel Lee Kleinman, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 348 Agricultural Hall 1450 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA Journal Minerva Online ISSN 1573-1871 Print ISSN 0026-4695 Journal Volume Volume 49 Journal Issue Volume (...) 49, Number 3. (shrink)
The world around us has been shaped by science and man's relationship to it, and in recent years sociologists have been increasingly preoccupied with the latter. In Science in Society , Massimiano Bucchi provides a brief and approachable introduction to this sociological issue. Without assuming any scientific background, Bucchi provides clear summaries of all the major theoretical positions within the sociology of science, using many fascinating examples to illustrate them. Theories covered include Thomas Kuhn's theory of scientific (...) change, the sociology of scientific knowledge, actor-network theory, and the social construction of technology. The second half of the book goes on to look at some recent public controversies over the role of science in the modern world including: · the Sokal affair, otherwise known as the science wars · debates over public understanding of science, such as global warming and genetically modified food · the implications of the human genomeproject. This highly readable text will be essential reading for all students studying the sociology of science. (shrink)
This article describes a number of human cohort studies based on the concept of brain-science and education. These studies assess the potential effects of new technologies on babies, children and adolescents, and test hypotheses drawn from animal and genetic case studies to see if they apply to people. A flood of information, virtual media, individualism and the pursuit of efficiency might be transforming our brain and its functions. An environmental assessment from the metaphysical aspect could be (...) essential to providing an appropriate environment for future generations. (shrink)
Dialogue theory, although it has ancient roots, was put forward in the 1970s in logic as astructure that can be useful for helping to evaluate argumentation and informal fallacies.Recently, however, it has been taken up as a broader subject of investigation in computerscience. This paper surveys both the historical and philosophical background of dialoguetheory and the latest research initiatives on dialogue theory in computer science. The main components of dialogue theory are briefly explained. Included is a classification of the (...) main types of dialogue that, it is argued, should provide the central focus for studying many important dialogue contexts in specific cases. Following these three surveys, a concluding prediction is made about the direction dialogue theory is likely to take in the next century, especially in relation to the growing field of communication studies. (shrink)
This paper addresses the issue of how science and history of science may help or be helped by Vedic studies. The conclusions drawn are that: 1. Vedic studies are important for the history of Indian science; 2. Modern science, in particular physics, is not a useful source of philosophical ideas that confirm aspects of Vedic studies; 3. Vedic studies will not contribute to modern scientific research; and 4. Vedic studies are nevertheless (...) centrally important for an understanding of Indian history and culture in general. (shrink)
This paper attempts to clarify some of the logical and conceptual issues in the philosophical dispute about law that has pitted the legal positivists against the adherents of natural law. The first part looks at the basic concepts that are relevant to that discussion and at the methodological implications of studying law either as an order of natural persons (natural law) or as a system of rules or an order of rule-defined artificial persons (legal order). Thus, we find that the (...) material and formal objects of natural law studies and legal science are different, and only touch one another because of the contingent fact that most of the positions in the legal orders studied by positivists are occupied by natural persons. Consequently, from both the logical and the methodological points of view, natural law studies and legal studies are not rivals. The two can exist side by side and have done so for centuries. One question that emerges from analysis in the first part is why positivists have embraced the study of legal orders while heaping nothing but scorn on the study of natural law. Their attitude suggests hatred and contempt rather than a mere difference of intellectual interests. Could it be that the positivists’ attitude has little to do with logic and methodology and much with ideological issues involving fundamental values? In the second part, we look for an answer to this question in a comparison of the two major and radically opposed religious worldviews that have made their mark on Western intellectual history, the Judaeo-Christian tradition and the Gnostic tradition. (shrink)
I believe that tenured historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science—when presented with the opportunity—have a professional obligation to get involved in public controversies over what should count as science. I stress ‘tenured’ because the involved academics need to be materially protected from the consequences of their involvement, given the amount of misrepresentation and abuse that is likely to follow, whatever position they take. Indeed, the institution of academic tenure justifies itself most clearly in such heat-seeking situations, where one (...) may appear to offer a reasoned defense for views that many consider indefensible. To be sure, the opportunities for involvement will vary in kind and number, but I believe that we are obliged to embrace them. In the specific case of ‘demarcation’ questions of what counts as science, the people who possess the sort of general and comparative knowledge most relevant for adducing this matter are historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science—not professional scientists unschooled in these areas.. (shrink)
Taking a set of central issues from ancient Greek medicine and biology, this book studies first the interaction between scientific theorising and folklore or popular assumptions, and second the ideological character of scientific inquiry. Topics of current interest in the philosphy and sociology of science illuminated here include the relationship between primitive thought and early science, and the roles of the consensus of the scientific community, of tradition and of the authority of the written text, in the (...) development of science. (shrink)
This paper examines how the new field of neuroethics is responding to the old problem of difference, particularly to those ideas of biological difference emerging from neuroimaging research that purports to further delineate our understanding of sex and/or gender differences in the brain. As the field develops, it is important to ask what is new about neuroethics compared to bioethics in this regard, and whether the concept of difference is being problematized within broader contexts of power and representation. As a (...) feminist sciencestudies scholar trained in the neurosciences, it seems logical to me that, as a growing field, neuroethics should reach out to the rich bodies of scholarship on the history of medicine, feminist theory and feminist bioethics while attempting to approach discussions of sex, gender and sexuality differences in the brain. What is also clear to me is that feminist scholars need to learn how to engage with neuroimaging studies on sex, gender and sexuality not just to critique, but also to productively contribute to neuroscientific research. The field of neuroethics can potentially provide the appropriate forum for this interdisciplinary engagement and create opportunities for shared perplexity. I suggest three possible points of departure for creating this shared perplexity, namely (i) is difference being measured in the study for the purpose of understanding difference in and of itself, or for the purpose of division?; (ii) is there an appreciation for biological complexity?; and (iii) is it assumed that structural differences can be conveniently translated into functional differences? (shrink)
Much bioethical scholarship is concerned with the social, legal and philosophical implications of new and emerging science and medicine, as well as with the processes of research that under-gird these innovations. Science and technology studies (STS), and the related and interpenetrating disciplines of anthropology and sociology, have also explored what novel technoscience might imply for society, and how the social is constitutive of scientific knowledge and technological artefacts. More recently, social scientists have interrogated the emergence of ethical (...) issues: they have documented how particular matters come to be regarded as in some way to do with ‘ethics’, and how this in turn enjoins particular types of social action. In this paper, I will discuss some of this and other STS (and STS-inflected) literature and reflect on how it might complement more ‘traditional’ modes of bioethical enquiry. I argue that STS might (1) cast new light on current bioethical issues, (2) direct the gaze of bioethicists towards matters that may previously have escaped their attention, and (3) indicate the import not only of the ethical implications of biomedical innovation, but also how these innovative and other processes feature ethics as a dimension of everyday laboratory and clinical work. In sum, engagements between STS and bioethics are increasingly important in order to understand and manage the complex dynamics between science, medicine and ethics in society. (shrink)
The five hundred years from 300 B.C. to A.D. 200 were a period during which Greek science made spectacular advances and Greek philosophy underwent dramatic changes. How much did the scientists take note of the philosophical issues bearing on their pursuits? What progress did the philosophers make with methodological and theoretical issues arising out of developments in science? What influence did philosophical criticism or philosophical ideas have on specific theories in medicine or mechanics, mathematics or astronomy? These are (...) some of the questions discussed in this series of papers by the distinguished scholars who took part in the Confe;rence Hellenistique in Paris in 1980. The result is a broad-ranging and pioneering volume which will be of importance to scholars in the history and philosophy of science and to those whose interests lie in classical philosophy. (shrink)
This collection of essays covers the classical heritage and Islamic culture, classical Arabic science and philosophy, and Muslim religious sciences, showing continuation of Greek and Persian thought as well as original Muslim contributions ...
Most contemporary political science researchers are advocates of multimethod research, however, the value and proper role of qualitative methodologies, like case study analysis, is disputed. A pluralistic philosophy of science can shed light on this debate. Methodological pluralism is indeed valuable, but does not entail causal pluralism. Pluralism about the goals of science is relevant to the debate and suggests a focus on the difference between evidence for warrant and evidence for use. I propose that case study (...) research provides evidence for use through providing information that bears on the applicability of causal generalizations and risk assessment. (shrink)
: What do appeals to case studies accomplish? Consider the dilemma: On the one hand, if the case is selected because it exemplifies the philosophical point, then it is not clear that the historical data hasn't been manipulated to fit the point. On the other hand, if one starts with a case study, it is not clear where to go from there—for it is unreasonable to generalize from one case or even two or three.
In its most recent form, the debate about the relationship between quantitative and qualitative methodology in political science has been shaped by the publication of Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research by Gary King, Robert O. Keohane, and Sidney Verba in 1994 (hereafter DSI). The focus of this debate has been case study research. DSI advocates that qualitative research, particularly case study research, be modeled on the template of quantitative research. The authors claim that all research has (...) the same logic of inquiry and that this is most clearly exemplified in quantitative work. I argue that the underlying philosophy of science of DSI is monistic and positivistic in ways not productive for understanding various different purposes that political science knowledge may have. Different methodologies have different strengths and so are suited to different ends. I examine this in relation to Julian Reiss’s discussion of different concepts of causality and argue that case study research is suited to understanding causal mechanisms in ways that make such research better suited to inform policy decisions. I finish with an example using David Fearon’s 2006 Congressional Testimony on Iraq. (shrink)