Ethnomethodological and Hermeneutic-Phenomenological Perspectives on Scientific Practices

Human Studies 36 (2):277-305 (2013)
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Abstract

The paper presents a comparative analysis between hermeneutics and ethnomethodology of science. A careful examination of the approaches suggested by the two programs not only demonstrates that a non-essentialist inquiry of scientific practices is possible, it also reveals how the significant methodological differences between these (post-phenomenological) programs inform divergent pictures of science’s practical rationality. The role these programs play in the debates on science’s cognitive autonomy is illuminated by spelling out the idea of the internal criticism of scientific research they advance. In contrast to the external criticism of social epistemologists, the internal one does not aim at a deconstruction of science’s cognitive autonomy. Its task is to promote the epistemic emancipation of scientific communities by stressing the reflexive dimension of scientific research

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