A House Built on Sand : Exposing Postmodernist Myths About Science: Exposing Postmodernist Myths About Science

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Noretta Koertge Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science Indiana University
Oxford University Press, USA, Jul 31, 1998 - Science - 336 pages
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Cultural critics say that "science is politics by other means," arguing that the results of scientific inquiry are profoundly shaped by the ideological agendas of powerful elites. They base their claims on historical case studies purporting to show the systematic intrusion of sexist, racist, capitalist, colonialist and/or professional interests into the very content of science. Physicist Alan Sokal recently poked fun at these claims by foisting a sly parody of the genre on the unwitting editors of the cultural studies journal Social Text touching off a still unabated torrent of editorials, articles, and heated classroom and Internet discussion. This hard-hitting collection picks up where Sokal left off. The essayists offer crisp and detailed critiques of case studies offered by the cultural critics as evidence that scientific results tell us more about social context than they do about the natural world. Pulling no punches, they identify numerous crude factual blunders (e.g. that Newton never performed any experiments) and egregious errors of emission, such as the attempt to explain the slow development of fluid dynamics solely in terms of gender bias. Where there are positive aspects of a flawed account, or something to be learned from it, they do not hesitate to say so. Their target is shoddy scholarship. Comprising new essays by distinguished scholars of history, philosophy, and science (including Sokal himself), this book raises a lively debate to a new level of seriousness.

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What the Social Text Affair Does and Does Not Prove
What the Sokal Hoax Ought to Teach Us
A Plea for Science Studies
Myths Metaphors and Readings
Bashful Eggs Macho Sperm and Tonypandy
An Engineer Dissects Two Case Studies Hayles on Fluid Mechanics and MacKenzie on Statistics
EvidenceFree Forensics and Enemies of Objectivity
Is Darwinism Sexist? And if It Is So What?
Latours Relativity
Art Nature and the Rise of Experimental Method
In Defense of Bacon
Alchemy Domination and Gender
What Is Wrong with the Strong Programmes Case Study of theHobbesBoyle Dispute?
Reflections on Bruno Latours Version of the Seventeenth Century
Civilian Casualties of Postmodern Perspectives on Science
Postmodernisms and the Problem of Scientific Literacy

Interests Ideology and the Neglect of Experiments
When Experiments Fail Is Cold Fusion Science as Normal?
Avoiding the Experimenters Regress
Do Mutants Die of Natural Causes? The Case of Atomic Parity Violation
The End of Science the Central Dogma of Science Studies Monsieur Jourdain and Uncle Vanya
The Epistemic Charity of the Social Constructivist Critics of Science and Why the Third World Should Refuse the Offer

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Page 12 - To slow down is to set a limit in chaos to which all speeds are subject, so that they form a variable determined as abscissa, at the same time as the limit forms a universal constant that cannot be gone beyond (for example, a maximum degree of contraction). The first functives are therefore the limit and the variable, and reference is a relationship between values of the variable or, more profoundly, the relationship of the variable, as abscissa of speeds, with the limit.

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