Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (3):503-508 (2000)
The debate between Bloor and Latour is based on a fundamental misunderstanding due to too narrow a view of what Bloor calls 'the field'. The boundaries of this 'field' are not defined by the sociological analysis of the content of science: SSK and Latour do not share the same object of study. Latour's approach marks a shift from the social determinants of scientific knowledge to the ontological labour performed by scientific activity. The research on the science/society interface has generated two approaches. Some works tackle the social factors which determine science. Their object is society in science. Other works address the social role of science. Their object of study is science in society. The difference in the way SSK and Latour look at science is an incarnation of this division. A re-conceptualization of 'the field' based on the acknowledgement of these two objects is perhaps the only way to allow for a diversity of approaches in the study of the science/society interface.
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References found in this work BETA
Relativism, Rationalism and the Sociology of Knowledge.Barry Barnes & David Bloor - 1982 - In Martin Hollis & Steven Lukes (eds.), Rationality and Relativism. Blackwell.
Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bath School! A Reply to Collins and Yearley.Michel Callon & Bruno Latour - 1992 - In Andrew Pickering (ed.), Science as Practice and Culture. University of Chicago Press. pp. 343--368.
On the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge and its Philosophical Agenda.M. Friedman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (2):239-271.
Do Scientific Objects Have a History? Pasteur and Whitehead in a Bath of Lactic Acid.Bruno Latour - 1996 - Common Knowledge 5:76-91.
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