Download Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach (Science and Its by Ronald N. Giere PDF

By Ronald N. Giere

Publish 12 months note: First released June 1st 1988

"This quantity provides an try and build a unified cognitive conception of technological know-how in rather brief compass. It confronts the powerful application in sociology of technological know-how and the positions of assorted postpositivist philosophers of technology, constructing major possible choices to every in a reeadily understandable sytle. It attracts loosely on contemporary advancements in cognitive technology, with out burdening the argument with special effects from that resource. . . .

The publication is therefore a provocative one. possibly that may be a degree of its price: it's going to lead students and critical scholar from a couple of technological know-how reports disciplines into persevered and sharpened debate over basic questions."—Richard Burian, Isis

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Extra resources for Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)

Example text

There is little evidence that he ever consciously thought of his work as complementary to the program of logical empiricism. But his program was complementary nonetheless. 12 In the opening section of a very influential early (1942) paper, Merton (1973, 268) wrote: 13 We are here concerned in a preliminary fashion with the cultural structure of science, that is, with one limited aspect of science as an institution. Thus, we shall consider, not the methods of science, but the mores with which they are hedged about.

But the disparity should give one pause. Why does the picture of science developed by philosophers and sociologists differ so greatly from that found among the educated public? In the case of philosophers of science the answer must be sought in the history of what is still called "modern" philosophy-Descartes' seventeenth century program of universal doubt. THE CARTESIAN CIRCLE Descartes set out to provide a firm foundation for the developing science of his time by first doubting everything he could.

It is part of a naturalistic approach to the study of science that we should at long last give up essentialism in epistemology as well. There is no point in seeking to characterize the ideally rational scientist. Rather, we should seek to explain the evolution of science in terms of the selective mechanisms operating on natural variations among real scientists. CAN SOCIOBIOLOGY HELP? The capacities evolution favors, of course, are just those that confer biological fitness, that is, the ability to survive and leave behind offspring.

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