Social construction revisited: Epistemology and scientific practice

Philosophy of Science 77 (1):92-116 (2010)
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Philosophy of scientific practice aims to critically evaluate as well as describe scientific inquiry. Epistemic norms are required for such evaluation. Social constructivism is widely thought to oppose this critical project. I argue, however, that one variety of social constructivism, focused on epistemic justification, can be a basis for critical epistemology of scientific practice, while normative accounts that reject this variety of social constructivism cannot., idealized epistemic norms cannot ground effective critique of our practices. I propose a new approach, placing SCj within a general framework of social action theory. This framework can be used to explicate epistemic norms implicit in our scientific practices. *Received July 2009; revised July 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: MS 14, P.O. Box 1892, Houston, TX 77251‐1892; e‐mail: [email protected]



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Melinda Bonnie Fagan
University of Utah

Citations of this work

Is Knowledge a Social Phenomenon?Robin McKenna - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Social Objectivity Under Scrutiny in the Pasteur–Pouchet Debate.José Antonio López Cerezo - 2015 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (2):301-318.

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