Science without Myth: On Constructions, Reality, and Social Knowledge

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SUNY Press, 1996 - Science - 199 pages
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By looking at science as a social and political activity, researchers have created novel accounts of scientific practice and rationality, accounts that largely contradict the dominant ideologies of science. Science without Myth is a philosophical introduction to and discussion of these social and political studies of science--a discussion of the social construction of scientific knowledge as a product of communities and societies marked by the circumstances of its production.

The book argues that there are a number of important and interesting ways in which scientific knowledge can be a social construction but that it often is knowledge of the material world; therefore, this book is an essay on mediation or the mediatory roles of scientists between nature and knowledge. By identifying and separating different senses of the "construction" metaphor, this book displays senses in which scientists construct knowledge, phenomena, and even worlds. It shows science as made up of thoroughly social processes and that those processes create representations of a pre-existing material world. Science without Myth's argument provides a counter-balance to skeptical tendencies of constructivist studies of science and technology by showing that skepticism cannot cut so deeply as to deny the possibility of knowledge and representation.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
THE GROUNDS FOR TRUTH IN SCIENCE AN EMPIRICISTREALIST DIALOGUE
13
EPISTEMOLOGY BY OTHER MEANS
27
EXPLORING METAPHORS OF SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION
49
NEOKANTIAN CONSTRUCTIONS
79
THE STRUCTURE THIRTY YEARS LATER
89
CREEPING REALISM BRUNO LATOURS HETEROGENEOUS CONSTRUCTIVISM
113
METAPHORS AND REPRESENTATION
127
POWER AND KNOWLEDGE
145
NOTES
163
WORKS CITED
175
INDEX
195
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Sergio Sismondo is William Webster Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Queen's University, Canada.

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