Sociology of Knowledge

Edited by Markus Seidel (Westfälische Wilhelms Universität, Münster)
Assistant editor: Charlott Becker (Westfälische Wilhelms Universität, Münster)
About this topic
Summary Sociology of Knowledge aims at an understanding of the social aspects of knowledge. It comprises research about all kinds of knowledge like e.g. scientific knowledge, common knowledge and practical knowledge.
Key works Mannheim 1946 can rightly be called one of the classics of sociology of knowledge, Berger & Luckmann 1966 argues for a new approach in the sociology of knowledge that takes into account 'what everybody knows'.  Schutz 1973 is the vantage point for a phenomenological tradition in the sociology of knowledge.  Foucault ms introduces the influential Archeology of Knowledge.
Introductions Hamilton 1974 is a general introduction to the field, Meja & Stehr 1999 provides a collection of key essays from the beginning of sociology of knowledge
Related categories

152 found
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  1. Anthropology and the Missions: A Critical Epistemological Perspective.J. Abbink - 1985 - Methodology and Science 18 (4):253-270.
    This paper is a attempt to clarify the relationship between anthropology and missionary work as to their basic knowledge claims and 'value orientations' from a rationalist perspective.
  2. Interpreting Mannheim.N. Abercrombie & B. Longhurst - 1983 - Theory, Culture and Society 2 (1):5-15.
  3. The Sociology of Knowledge and its Consciousness.Theodor W. Adorno - 2005 - In Nico Stehr & Reiner Grundmann (eds.), Knowledge: Critical Concepts. Routledge. pp. 5--52.
  4. A Lack of Ideological Diversity is Killing Social Research.Musa al-Gharbi - 2017 - Times Higher Education 2298:27-28.
    The lack of ideological diversity in social research, paired with the lack of engagement with citizens and policymakers who come from other places on the ideological spectrum, poses an existential risk to the continued credibility, utility and even viability of social research. The need for reform is urgent.
  5. From Political Liberalism to Para-Liberalism: Epistemological Pluralism, Cognitive Liberalism & Authentic Choice.Musa al-Gharbi - 2016 - Comparative Philosophy (2):1-25.
    Advocates of political liberalism hold it as a superior alternative to perfectionism on the grounds that it avoids superfluous and/or controversial claims in favor of a maximally-inclusive approach undergirded by a "free-standing" justification for the ideology. These assertions prove difficult to defend: political interpretations of liberalism tend to be implicitly ethnocentric; they often rely upon a number of controversial, and even empirically falsified, assumptions about rationality--and in many ways prove more parochial than their perfectionist cousins. It is possible to reform (...)
  6. Building on Nietzsche's Prelude: Reforming Epistemology for the Philosophy of the Future.Musa al-Gharbi - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Arizona
    Drawing from the "anti-philosophies" of Nietzsche and Wittgenstein, and deploying a methodology which synthesizes critical theory with evolutionary psychology and contemporary cognitive science, our analysis demonstrates: 1. Justifications, in any context, are oriented towards social manipulation and bear no relation to any "cognitive processes." 2. The role of logic is overstated, both with regards to our justifications, and also our cognition. 3. Truth and falsity are socio-linguistic functions which have no bearing on any "objective reality." Insofar as these claims are (...)
  7. Comments on Tim Kenyon's "Oral History and the Epistemology of Testimony".Ben Almassi - 2015 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective.
  8. Expertise In Agriculture.Ben Almassi - 2014 - Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics.
  9. The Reflexive Thesis: Wrighting Sociology of Scientific Knowledge.Malcolm Ashmore - 1989 - University of Chicago Press.
    This unusually innovative book treats reflexivity, not as a philosophical conundrum, but as a practical issue that arises in the course of scholarly research and argument. In order to demonstrate the concrete and consequential nature of reflexivity, Malcolm Ashmore concentrates on an area in which reflexive "problems" are acute: the sociology of scientific knowledge. At the forefront of recent radical changes in our understanding of science, this increasingly influential mode of analysis specializes in rigorous deconstructions of the research practices and (...)
  10. The Sociology of Knowledge and Buddhist-Christian Forms of Faith, Practice and Knowledge.Morris J. Augustine - 1981 - Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 8 (34):237.
  11. Thinking Twice About Virtue and Vice.Guy Axtell - manuscript
    This chapter provides an empirical defense of credit theories of knowing against Alfano’s the-ses of inferential cognitive situationism and of epistemic situationism. It also develops a Nar-row-Broad Spectrum of agency-ascriptions in reply to Olin and Doris’ ‘trade-off problem.’ In order to support the claim that credit theories can treat many cases of success through heuristic cognitive strategies as credit-conferring, the paper develops the compatibility between VE and dual-process theories (DPT) in cognitive psychology. A genuine convergence between VE and DPT is (...)
  12. Sociology of Scientific Knowledge.Zaheer Baber - 1992 - Theory and Society 21 (1):105-119.
  13. The Place of Sociology of Knowledge in Alfred Schutz's Phenomenology.Michael David Barber - 1985 - Dissertation, Yale University
    Alfred Schutz's phenomenology provides a philosophical context in which the sociology of knowledge can find its locus and limits. Schutz's The Phenomenology of the Social World describes those structures which are essential to consciousness, intersubjective understanding, and the social world. Unlike Husserl, whose transcendental method brackets the social world, Schutz turns to a phenomenology of that world in non-transcendental terms. Hence, his account of social reality is based on a phenomenology of what Husserl called the "natural attitude." ;There are four (...)
  14. How Not to Do the Sociology of Knowledge.Barry Barnes - 1994 - In Allan Megill (ed.), Rethinking Objectivity. Duke University Press. pp. 31.
  15. Sociological Theories of Scientific Knowledge.Barry Barnes - 1990 - In R. C. Olby, G. N. Cantor, J. R. R. Christie & M. J. S. Hodge (eds.), Companion to the History of Modern Science. Routledge. pp. 60-73.
  16. "On Anthropological Knowledge" by Dan Sperber.Stanley R. Barrett - 1989 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 19 (1):103.
  17. Yes, No, Maybe So: A Veritistic Approach to Echo Chambers Using a Trichotomous Belief Model.Bert Baumgaertner - 2014 - Synthese 191 (11):2549-2569.
    I approach the study of echo chambers from the perspective of veritistic social epistemology. A trichotomous belief model is developed featuring a mechanism by which agents will have a tendency to form agreement in the community. The model is implemented as an agent-based model in NetLogo and then used to investigate a social practice called Impartiality, which is a plausible means for resisting or dismantling echo chambers. The implementation exposes additional factors that need close consideration in an evaluation of Impartiality. (...)
  18. Vilfredo Pareto and the Sociology of Knowledge.Brigitte Berger - forthcoming - Social Research.
  19. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge.Peter Berger & Thomas Luckmann - 1966 - Anchor Books.
    This book reformulates the sociological subdiscipline known as the sociology of knowledge. Knowledge is presented as more than ideology, including as well false consciousness, propaganda, science and art.
  20. ON THE EXISTENCE OF BRUNO LATOUR'S MODES.Terence Blake - manuscript
    In this article I take a critical look at the origins and sources of Bruno Latour's pluralism as it is expressed in his book AN INQUIRY INTO MODES OF EXISTENCE, and compare it to other similar projects (Wittgenstein, Feyerabend, Badiou). I consider the accusations of reductionism and of relativism, and demonstrate that Latour's «empirical metaphysics» is not an ontological reductionism but a pluralist ontology recognising the existence of a plurality of entities and of types of entities. Nor is it an (...)
  21. Argument as Combat.Jonny Blamey - manuscript
    Abstract Argument is seen as central to philosophy, especially epistemology. It is often said that philosophy teaches you to argue for any position. Arguments are used to justify beliefs and many people suppose that for a belief to be counted for knowledge it must be justified. In science, scientific theories must be backed by the evidence and it has been proposed that the relationship of evidence to theory is that of argument to conclusion. But is argument really so important? Arguments (...)
  22. Classification and the Sociology of Knowledge.David Bloor - 2005 - In Nico Stehr & Reiner Grundmann (eds.), Knowledge: Critical Concepts. Routledge. pp. 5--139.
  23. Karl Mannheim and Political Ideology.Peter Breiner - 2013 - In Michael Freeden, Lyman Tower Sargent & Marc Stears (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Political Ideologies. Oxford University Press. pp. 38.
    This chapter argues that the famous ‘Mannheim paradox’ regarding the ideological understanding of ideology in Ideology and Utopia merely serves as a preparation for a far more complex and persistent paradox that poses a recurrent problem for any political science seeking to understand the relation of political ideologies to political reality: namely, when we try to understand contending political ideologies at any one historical moment and test them for their ‘congruence’ with historical and sociological ‘reality’, our construction of this context (...)
  24. Crossing Cultures of Knowledge.Denisa Butnaru - 2012 - Schutzian Research 4:79-90.
    The aim of the present article is to draw attention on a historical development in the French sociological tradition. Being a heritage of the Germanintellectual context, the tradition of the comprehensive sociology was not among the main trends in France. Furthermore, the phenomenological orientationin social theory mostly associated with the work of Alfred Schütz was also a side interest until the 1980s. From this decade on, a new paradigm becomesgradually institutionalized, a paradigm which gathers different intellectual and theoretical positions and (...)
  25. Nos vérités sont-elles pertinentes? L’œuvre de Fernand Dumont en perspective.Serge Cantin & Marjolaine Deschênes (eds.) - 2009 - Presses de l'Université Laval.
  26. Fact/Value Holism, Feminist Philosophy, and Nazi Cancer Research.Sharyn Clough - 2015 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 1 (1).
    Fact/value holism has become commonplace in philosophy of science, especially in feminist literature. However, that facts are bearers of empirical content, while values are not, remains a firmly-held distinction. I support a more thorough-going holism: both facts and values can function as empirical claims, related in a seamless, semantic web. I address a counterexample from Kourany where facts and values seem importantly discontinuous, namely, the simultaneous support by the Nazis of scientifically sound cancer research and morally unsound political policies. I (...)
  27. Uncovering Rationality - a Perspective in African Thought.P. H. Coetzee - 2000 - South African Journal of Ethnology 23 (1/2):63-82.
    The reigning, disjunctive view of cultural relations holds that one either belongs to culture A or B. The alternative conjunctive view argues that the world contains many cultures and people inhabit the world within and between some, many or all of these actual cultures. The conjunctural point of view posits a historically derived shared core of transcultural meanings and denies that the elements of a people's tradition are all autochthonous in their genesis. A coherent conjunctural reading of culture depends on (...)
  28. Getting Things Less Wrong: Religion and the Role of Communities in Successfully Transmitting Beliefs.Caleb Cohoe - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (3):621-636.
    I use the case of religious belief to argue that communal institutions are crucial to successfully transmitting knowledge to a broad public. The transmission of maximally counterintuitive religious concepts can only be explained by reference to the communities that sustain and pass them on. The shared life and vision of such communities allows believers to trust their fellow adherents. Repeated religious practices provide reinforced exposure while the comprehensive and structured nature of religious worldviews helps to limit distortion. I argue that (...)
  29. The Sociology of Knowledge: A Reader.James E. Curtis - 1970 - London: Duckworth.
  30. Islam, Science, and Cognitive-Propositionalism.Amir Dastmalchian - 2014 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective.
  31. KNOWLEDGE, TRUTH, INSIGHT, WISDOM.Ulrich De Balbian - 2017 - Oxford: Academic Publications.
    An exploration of the umbrella notion‭ '‬knowledge‭' ‬and related notions,‭ ‬truth,‭ ‬wisdom,‭ ‬knowing,‭ ‬insights,‭ ‬understanding,‭ ‬perception,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬The‭ ‬philosophical approach,‭ ‬such as that of Gettier,‭ ‬to this notion.
  32. Fact‐Totems and the Statistical Imagination: The Public Life of a Statistic in Argentina 2001.Martin de Santos - 2009 - Sociological Theory 27 (4):466-489.
    Statistics are key elements of contemporary life. They figure prominently in the media, in political discourse, and in daily conversations. They also weigh heavily within the economic and political spheres of modern societies. Yet, the study of statistics in the public sphere has been neglected by social scientists in favor of a focus on their production and history. This article remedies this lacuna by focusing on the public life of statistics. Through a case study of a financial indicator—country risk—that exhibited (...)
  33. In Defence of Particularism: A Reply to Stokes.Matthew R. X. Dentith - 2016 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 5 (11):27-33.
    A reply to Patrick Stokes' “Between Generalism and Particularism About Conspiracy Theory".
  34. Clearing Up Some Conceptual Confusions About Conspiracy Theory Theorising.Matthew R. X. Dentith & Martin Orr - 2017 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 6 (1):9-16.
    A reply to Gérald Bronner, Véronique Campion-Vincent, Sylvain Delouvée, Sebastian Dieguez, Nicolas Gauvrit, Anthony Lantian, and Pascal Wagner-Egger's piece, '“They” Respond: Comments on Basham et al.’s “Social Science’s Conspiracy-Theory Panic: Now They Want to Cure Everyone”.
  35. Social Epistemology as Public Philosophy.Susan Dieleman, María G. Navarro & Elisabeth Simbürger - 2016 - In James H. Collier (ed.), The Future of Social Epistemology. A Collective Vision. Rowman & Littlefield International. pp. 55-64.
    The Future of Social Epistemology: A Collective Vision sets an agenda for exploring the future of what we – human beings reimagining our selves and our society – want, need and ought to know. The book examines, concretely, practically and speculatively, key ideas such as the public conduct of philosophy, models for extending and distributing knowledge, the interplay among individuals and groups, risk taking and the welfare state, and envisioning people and societies remade through the breakneck pace of scientific and (...)
  36. Movimentos e mobilizações sociais: originalidade e desafios.A. Duque, E. & Calheiros - 2017 - População E Sociedade 27:170-186.
    Resumo: A crise na União Europeia e os programas de austeridade subsequentes fizeram emergir uma miríade de movimentos sociais, diversos na sua natureza e nos seus propósitos. O que se pretende aferir neste artigo é a relação e a conexão existentes entre o Estado, o poder económico, a sociedade civil e os movimentos sociais neste contexto específico de crise. Procuraremos, nesta breve abordagem, explanar alguns elementos de originalidade intrínsecos aos movimentos sociais hodiernos, patentes na sua forma de participação e organização, (...)
  37. The Prism of Heritability and the Sociology of Knowledge.Troy Duster - 1996 - In Laura Nader (ed.), Naked Science: Anthropological Inquiry Into Boundaries, Power, and Knowledge. Routledge. pp. 119--30.
  38. "Social Knowledge: An Essay on the Nature and Limits of Social Science" by Paul Mattick, Jr.William James Earle - 1988 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 18 (4):580.
  39. Knowing Things in Common.Jaana Eigi - 2013 - Acta Baltica Historiae Et Philosophiae Scientiarum 1 (2):26-37.
    In her analysis of the politics of biotechnology, Sheila Jasanoff argued that modern democracy cannot be understood without an analysis of the ways knowledge is created and used in society. s he suggested calling these ways to “know things in common” civic epistemologies. Jasanoff thus approached knowledge as fundamentally social. t he focus on the social nature of knowledge allows drawing parallels with some developments in philosophy of science. In the first part of the paper, I juxtapose Jasanoff’s account with (...)
  40. The Classical Sociology of Knowledge and Beyond.S. N. Eisenstadt - 1987 - Minerva 25 (1-2):77-91.
  41. Problems of an Empirical Sociology of Knowledge.Björn Eriksson - 1975 - Almqvist & Wiksell International (Distr.).
  42. On Surrender, Death, and the Sociology of Knowledge.Judith Feher - 1984 - Human Studies 7 (3-4):211 - 226.
    Surrender-and-catch is a protest against [... our time] and an attempt at remembrance of what a human being can be. The sociology of knowledge is a protest against its hypocrisy and against unexamined social influences. Like surrender, the sociology of knowledge does not fear but passionately seeks what is true and thus, like surrender, is a remembrance, proclamation, and celebration of the spirit. Both ideas, that of the sociology of knowledge and that of surrender, are critical, polemical, radical [...]; so (...)
  43. The ‘Ontological Complicity’ of Habitus and Field: Was Bourdieu an ‘Externalist’?Nikolaus Fogle & Georg Theiner - forthcoming - In Duncan Pritchard, Orestis Palermos & Adam Carter (eds.), Socially Extended Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    Our aim in this chapter is to contribute to a greater appreciation of Bourdieu’s work within debates on embodied, extended and distributed cognition, grouped under the general heading of externalism (Rowlands 2003, Carter et al. 2014). We seek to draw out several pertinent elements of Bourdieu’s theory of social practice, and show how they variously resonate with, enrich, or problematize key externalist theses. We begin with an overview of the main elements of Bourdieu’s theoretical enterprise, in order to provide essential (...)
  44. Joseph Ben-David's Sociology of Scientific Knowledge.Gad Freudenthal - 1987 - Minerva 25 (1-2):135-149.
  45. The Alienated Mind: The Sociology of Knowledge in Germany, 1918-1933.David Frisby - 1992 - Routledge.
    The Sociology of Knowledge in Weimar Germany: Its Background and Context i Any serious attempt to understand the distinctive nature of the German tradition ...
  46. The Role of Inversion in the Genesis, Development and the Structure of Scientific Knowledge.Nagarjuna G. - manuscript
    The main thrust of the argument of this thesis is to show the possibility of articulating a method of construction or of synthesis--as against the most common method of analysis or division--which has always been (so we shall argue) a necessary component of scientific theorization. This method will be shown to be based on a fundamental synthetic logical relation of thought, that we shall call inversion--to be understood as a species of logical opposition, and as one of the basic monadic (...)
  47. Resistance to Reflexivity.Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar - 1997 - Social Epistemology 11 (2):165 – 170.
  48. The Transcendental in Ludwik Fleck’s Social Epistemology.Dimitri Ginev - 2015 - Social Epistemology 29 (4):379-394.
    Much of Ludwik Fleck’s work on the social constitution of knowledge, scientific facts, and objects of inquiry is informed by a specific use of transcendental arguments. This paper analyzes the ways in which Fleck looks for “conditions of possibilities” for the stylization and circulation of cognition. Following a brief discussion of his political agenda regarding science’s “cultural mission,” the paper offers a reconstruction of Fleck’s implicit concept of the transcendental. It is argued that Fleck addresses scientific truth as an ongoing (...)
  49. Marx and Mead: Contributions to a Sociology of Knowledge.Tom W. Goff - 1980 - Routledge & Kegan Paul.
  50. Epistemic Evaluations: Consequences, Costs and Benefits.Peter J. Graham, Megan Stotts, Zachary Bachman & Meredith McFadden - 2015 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4 (4):7-13.
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