Conclusion: Beware of Science

Nicholas Jardine

in The Scenes of Inquiry

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250395
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681288 | DOI:
Conclusion: Beware of Science

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This chapter begins with a defence of the basic premises and strategies used in evaluating claims of the sciences to have accumulated real questions and true answers. The enterprise of this book and its companion, The Fortunes of Inquiry, is subjected to a reflexive assessment, in which the accounts of truth and reality are exposed. The chapter goes on to defend the right of the philosopher to offer such advice. It urges scientists to beware of the complacency induced by the myths of the unity, rationality, and ‘world-guidedness’ of science. It argues that the scenes of the inquiry of the sciences will remain limited and distorted unless scientists become more reflective, taking serious account of the findings of sociologists and social historians about the diversity of the social practices of the sciences. The chapter concludes that reflexive assessment of accounts of truth and reality is indicative of a distinctive domain of historical evidence in which a person may seek evidence of the truth.

Keywords: The Fortunes of Inquiry; world-guidedness; unity; rationality; reflexive assessment; accounts of truth

Chapter.  5834 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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