Science and Politics Between Domesticated and Radicalized Pragmatism

Science in Context 10 (1):85-96 (1997)
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Abstract

The ArgumentThis paper introduces a distinction between two understandings of the pragmatic tradition: domesticated and radicalized pragmatism. The main difference between these two views concerns the feasibility and moral legitimacy of a radical critique of an existing practice such as science, politics, and so on. It is argued that domesticated pragmatism, with its emphasis on local rather than global perspective, has led to trivialization and degeneration of self-reflective critique. Without rejecting pragmatism as such, this paper urges a reinterpretation of this tradition so as to make room for more thorough forms of critique of both science and social practice.

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