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

By Ronald N. Giere

Publish 12 months note: First released June 1st 1988

"This quantity provides an try and build a unified cognitive concept of technology in rather brief compass. It confronts the robust software in sociology of technology and the positions of assorted postpositivist philosophers of technological know-how, constructing major choices to every in a reeadily understandable sytle. It attracts loosely on fresh advancements in cognitive technology, with no burdening the argument with targeted effects from that resource. . . .

The publication is therefore a provocative one. probably that could be a degree of its worth: it's going to lead students and severe pupil from a couple of technology reports disciplines into persevered and sharpened debate over primary questions."—Richard Burian, Isis

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

Sample text

The entire structure of technical and moral norms implements the final objective. The existence and maintenance of the four norms, then, would ultimately be explained by their function in furthering the acquisition of "certified knowledge. " In one respect the approaches of logical empiricism and of functionalist THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF SCIENCE 31 sociology are more than complementary. Both schools assume that human action is rule governed. In the one case, cognitive activities are said to be governed by rules of rationality; in the other, social activities are said to be governed by institutionalized rules of social action.

It is also part of a long tradition of using science in the attempt to understand science itself. Like all such general viewpoints, naturalism and the scientific study of science have been "refuted" by philosophers dozens of times. What makes naturalism attrac- CAN THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE BE NATURALIZED? 9 tive now, however, is not that such philosophical arguments have themselves been "refuted" but that the cognitive sciences have become increasingly successful empirically. This is the historical pattern.

These are the issues most relevant to a cognitive alternative. With hindsight we can divide the twentieth century work in both the philosophy and the sociology of science into two periods separated by the unfolding influence, in the 1960s, of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962). Accordingly I begin with a look at two theories of science developed by philosophers and sociologists of science before the 1960s. After a brief presentation of Kuhn's own theory, I then examine several major post-Kuhnian theories of science.

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