By Noretta Koertge
Cultural critics say that "science is politics by means of different means," arguing that the result of clinical inquiry are profoundly formed through the ideological agendas of robust elites. They base their claims on old case reports purporting to teach the systematic intrusion of sexist, racist, capitalist, colonialist, and/or specialist pursuits into the very content material of technology. during this hard-hitting choice of essays, members supply crisp and certain evaluations of case experiences provided via the cultural critics as proof that clinical effects let us know extra approximately social context than they do concerning the flora and fauna. Pulling no punches, they establish quite a few crude actual error (e.g. that Newton by no means played any experiments) and egregious error of omission, comparable to the try to clarify the sluggish improvement of fluid dynamics exclusively by way of gender bias. the place there are good points of a incorrect account, or whatever to be realized from it, they don't hesitate to claim so. Their aim is shoddy scholarship.
Comprising new essays by means of amazing students of historical past, philosophy, and technological know-how, this e-book increases a full of life debate to a brand new point of seriousness.
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Additional resources for A House Built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths About Science
2 More recently, humanists and social scientists studying science have been viewed less as irrelevant dilettantes than as subversives dedicated to undermining scientific authority. The recent books by Paul Gross and Norman Levitt (Higher Superstition) and by Lewis Wolpert (The Unnatural Nature of Science) make it plain that distinguished scientists find large portions of the work done in the name of science studies ignorant, confused, and damaging. Alan Sokal's celebrated hoax reveals that the editors of one journal leaped at the chance to publish pretentious nonsense because it resonated so well with what they wanted to claim about science.
Any such hope is doomed to disappointment. It is time for confession. ” I had to make up (guess) a lot of my own sociology. This was not negligence. There was no theoretical source to which I could turn for guidance about the character of the causal processes that affect research. To be sure, there are “case studies,” investigations that deploy “folk” categories, like the ones I employ, but there is no systematic body of theory that would identify major causal factors—such as one might obtain from a sociologist of criminal behavior if one were interested in the social causes of crime.
This is part of a correct answer, but it needs to be supplemented with a diagnosis of the philosophical errors that have induced serious scholars to forget all about scientists' research, experiments, and reasoning and to glory in the richness of their personal and social lives—in short, to lose sight of one cluster of themes in their fascination with the other. The Variety of Belief There is another line of argument that sometimes leads practitioners of Science Studies to the same point. Suppose we begin from the evident fact that people, including scientists, sometimes differ in their beliefs.
A House Built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths About Science by Noretta Koertge