Making Natural Knowledge: Constructivism and the History of Science, with a new Preface

Paperback | August 1, 2005

byJan Golinski

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Arguably the best available introduction to constructivism, a research paradigm that has dominated the history of science for the past forty years, Making Natural Knowledge reflects on the importance of this theory, tells the history of its rise to prominence, and traces its most important tensions.

Viewing scientific knowledge as a product of human culture, Jan Golinski challenges the traditional trajectory of the history of science as steady and autonomous progress. In exploring topics such as the social identity of the scientist, the significance of places where science is practiced, and the roles played by language, instruments, and images, Making Natural Knowledge sheds new light on the relations between science and other cultural domains.

"A standard introduction to historically minded scholars interested in the constructivist programme. In fact, it has been called the 'constructivist's bible' in many a conference corridor."—Matthew Eddy, British Journal for the History of Science

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Arguably the best available introduction to constructivism, a research paradigm that has dominated the history of science for the past forty years, Making Natural Knowledge reflects on the importance of this theory, tells the history of its rise to prominence, and traces its most important tensions.Viewing scientific knowledge as a pro...

Jan Golinski is professor of history and humanities at the University of New Hampshire. He is coeditor of The Sciences in Enlightened Europe, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

other books by Jan Golinski

The Experimental Self: Humphry Davy and the Making of a Man of Science
The Experimental Self: Humphry Davy and the Making of a...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:August 1, 2005Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226302318

ISBN - 13:9780226302317

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
New Preface (2005)
Preface
Introduction: Challenges to the Classical View of Science
1. An Outline of Constructivism
From Kuhn to the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge
What's Social about Constructivism?
2. Identity and Discipline
The Making of a Social Identity
The Disciplinary Mold
3. The Place of Production
The Workshop of Nature
Beyond the Laboratory Walls
4. Speaking for Nature
The Open Hand
Stepping into the Circle
5. Interventions and Representations
Instruments and Objects
The Work of Representation
6. Culture and Construction
The Meanings of Culture
Regimes of Construction
Coda: The Obligations of Narrative
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Golinski writes for an audience of graduate students and senior undergraduates. . . . On the whole, [he] succeeds admirably. His book is well organized and fluently written. Basic ideas are clearly explained, and his style is blessedly free of the jargon and posturing that makes a great deal of science studies literature a penance to read. . . . ‘Constructivism’ for Golinski is not a set of formal principles but an approach or point of view, one that sees science as a form of cultural practice constructed in particular local contexts out of available cultural and material resources. . . . Historians who only want to use the constructivists’ tool kit will appreciate his eclecticism. I arrange my undergraduate courses in sciences studies in much the same way. . . . I will use this book as a text the next time around.”