Abstract
This article critically appraises David Bloor’s recent attempts to refute criticisms levelled at the Strong Programme’s social constructionist approach to scientific knowledge. Bloor has tried to argue, contrary to some critics, that the Strong Programme is not idealist in character, and it does not involve a challenge to the credibility of scientific knowledge. I argue that Bloor’s attempt to deflect the charge of idealism, which calls on the self-referential theory of social institutions, is partially successful. However, I suggest that although the Strong Programme should not be accused of ‘strong idealism’, it is still vulnerable to the criticism that it entails a form of ‘weak idealism’. The article moves on to argue that, contrary to Bloor, constructionist approaches do challenge the credibility of the scientific knowledge that they analyse. I conclude the article by arguing that sociological analyses of scientific knowledge can be conducted without the weak idealism and the credibility-challenging assumptions of the Strong Programme approach.Keywords: Strong Programme; David Bloor; Social constructionism; Idealism; Self-reference; Scientific credibility.
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Reprint years 2005
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2005.08.002
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References found in this work BETA

Anti-Latour.David Bloor - 1999 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (1):81-112.
Idealism and the Sociology of Knowledge.David Bloor - 1996 - Social Studies of Science 26 (4):839-856.
Toward a Monistic Theory of Science: The `Strong Programme' Reconsidered.Stephen Kemp - 2003 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (3):311-338.
History of Science Through Koyré's Lenses.James B. Stump - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 32 (2):243-263.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ideals and Monisms: Recent Criticisms of the Strong Programme in the Sociology of Knowledge.David Bloor - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (1):210-234.
Saving the Strong Programme: A Critique of Stephen Kemp’s Recent Paper.Márta Fehér - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (1):235-240.
Concepts, Anomalies and Reality: A Response to Bloor and Fehér.Stephen Kemp - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (1):241-253.

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