Science as Social Knowledge
Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry
By (author) Helen E. Longino
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Science as Social Knowledge by Helen E. Longino
Book DescriptionConventional wisdom has it that the sciences, properly pursued, constitute a pure, value-free method of obtaining knowledge about the natural world. In light of the social and normative dimensions of many scientific debates, Helen Longino finds that general accounts of scientific methodology cannot support this common belief. Focusing on the notion of evidence, the author argues that a methodology powerful enough to account for theories of any scope and depth is incapable of ruling out the influence of social and cultural values in the very structuring of knowledge. The objectivity of scientific inquiry can nevertheless be maintained, she proposes, by understanding scientific inquiry as a social rather than an individual process. Seeking to open a dialogue between methodologists and social critics of the sciences, Longino develops this concept of "contextual empiricism" in an analysis of research programs that have drawn criticism from feminists. Examining theories of human evolution and of prenatal hormonal determination of "gender-role" behavior, of sex differences in cognition, and of sexual orientation, the author shows how assumptions laden with social values affect the description, presentation, and interpretation of data. In particular, Longino argues that research on the hormonal basis of "sex-differentiated behavior" involves assumptions not only about gender relations but also about human action and agency. She concludes with a discussion of the relation between science, values, and ideology, based on the work of Habermas, Foucault, Keller, and Haraway.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691020518
(235mm x 155mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 1-Feb-1990
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Helen E. Longino
Foundations and Methods from Mathematics to Neuroscience, Paperback (April 2015)
During his long career, Patrick Suppes has contributed significantly both to the sciences and to scientific philosophies. In this volume, an international group of Suppes' colleagues and collaborators builds upon his insights. It explores a range of topics, from the relationship between science and philosophy.
Studying Human Behavior, Paperback (March 2013)
Deals with the complexities of human behavioral research, a domain still dominated by the age-old debate of "nature versus nurture." The author dissects five approaches to the study of behavior - quantitative behavioral genetics, molecular behavior genetics, developmental psychology, neurophysiology and anatomy, and social/environmental methods.
Scientific Pluralism, Hardback (November 2006)
Explores what happens when new media becomes old news.
Fate of Knowledge, Paperback (October 2001)» View all books by Helen E. Longino
Seeking to break the deadlock in the ongoing wars between philosophers of science and sociologists of science, this text argues that social interaction actually assists us in securing firm, rationally-based knowledge, clarifying the philosophical points at issue.
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