A Nice Derangement Of Epistemes: Post-positivism in the Study of Science from Quine to Latour

Paperback | February 15, 2004

byJohn H. Zammito

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Since the 1950s, many philosophers of science have attacked positivism—the theory that scientific knowledge is grounded in objective reality. Reconstructing the history of these critiques, John H. Zammito argues that while so-called postpositivist theories of science are very often invoked, they actually provide little support for fashionable postmodern approaches to science studies.

Zammito shows how problems that Quine and Kuhn saw in the philosophy of the natural sciences inspired a turn to the philosophy of language for resolution. This linguistic turn led to claims that science needs to be situated in both historical and social contexts, but the claims of recent "science studies" only deepened the philosophical quandary. In essence, Zammito argues that none of the problems with positivism provides the slightest justification for denigrating empirical inquiry and scientific practice, delivering quite a blow to the "discipline" postmodern science studies.

Filling a gap in scholarship to date, A Nice Derangement of Epistemes will appeal to historians, philosophers, philosophers of science, and the broader scientific community.

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Since the 1950s, many philosophers of science have attacked positivism—the theory that scientific knowledge is grounded in objective reality. Reconstructing the history of these critiques, John H. Zammito argues that while so-called postpositivist theories of science are very often invoked, they actually provide little support for fash...

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Since the 1950s, many philosophers of science have attacked positivism—the theory that scientific knowledge is grounded in objective reality. Reconstructing the history of these critiques, John H. Zammito argues that while so-called postpositivist theories of science are very often invoked, they actually provide little support for fash...

John H. Zammito is the John Antony Weir Professor of History at Rice University. He is the author, most recently, of Kant, Herder, and the Birth of Anthropology and of The Genesis of Kant's Critique of Judgment, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

other books by John H. Zammito

Format:PaperbackDimensions:406 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:February 15, 2004Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226978621

ISBN - 13:9780226978628

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. From Positivism to Post-positivism
2. The Perils of Semantic Ascent: Quine and Post-positivism in the Philosophy of Science
3. Living in Different Worlds? Kuhn's Misadventures with Incommensurability
4. Doing Kuhn One Better? The (Failed) Marriage of History and Philosophy of Science
5. How Kuhn Became a Sociologist (and Why He Didn't Like It): The Strong Program and the Social Construction of Science
6. All the Way Down: Social Constructivism and the Turn to Microsociological Studies
7. Women, ANTs, and (Other) Dangerous Things: "Hybrid" Discourses
8. A Nice Derangement of Epistemes: Radical Reflexivity and the Science Wars
Conclusion: The Hyperbolic Derangement of Epistemes
Notes
Index