Science

Front Cover
U of Minnesota Press, 1997 - Science - 159 pages
A surprising examination of our understanding of science.

"Science is a swashbuckling book. Fuller's formidable scholarship takes no prisoners". Nature

What qualifies such seemingly disparate disciplines as paleontology, high-energy physics, industrial chemistry, and genetic engineering as "sciences", and hence worthy of sustained public interest and support? In this innovative and controversial introduction to the social character of scientific knowledge, Steve Fuller argues that if these disciplines share anything at all, it is more likely the way they strategically misinterpret their own history rather than any privileged access to the nature of reality.

Science features a report written in the persona of a Martian anthropologist who systematically compares religious and scientific institutions on Earth, only to find that science does not necessarily live up to its own ideals of rationality. Fuller highlights science's multicultural nature through a discussion of episodes in which the West's own perception of science has been decisively affected by its encounters with islam and Japan. Through this analysis we come to understand that science's most attractive feature -- its openness to criticism -- is threatened by the role it increasingly plays in the maintenance of social and economic order.

 

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Contents

Our Latest Moral Panic
1
Notes
10
The Sociological Peculiarity of the Natural Sciences
12
Notes
24
Some Exercises in Conceptual Analysis
25
Scientific
30
Scientist
35
Notes
38
Theodicy
58
Conclusion and recommendations
60
Appendices
62
The Mertonian norms
63
The Science Citation Index
67
Notes
77
Convenient
80
The View from
106

A Lost Martian Chronicle
40
Mystery
48
Soteriology
50
Saintliness
52
Magic causation
55
Does it have
137
Suggested Reading
145
Index
156
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Steve Fuller, trained in the history and philosophy of science, is now the Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick.

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