Chapter

Introduction

in The One Culture?

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780226467221
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226467245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226467245.003.0001
Introduction

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To characterize concisely the challenges posed by the new science studies is not easy. To simplify, they might be represented in terms of opposed conceptual clusters—for example, realism/rationalism/objectivism versus relativism/constructivism/subjectivism. The “new” science studies (now a quarter-century old) generally emphasize the latter cluster. They focus on the role of human factors in science and how scientific knowledge is contingent on and constructed by the operation of these factors—the social character of scientific institutions, the culture in which scientific investigation takes place, the language used to express scientific findings, etc. The contrasting position—held by the vast majority of scientists themselves as well as more traditional science studiers—places greater stress on how scientific knowledge is determined by the natural world and codified by the objective examination of that world.

Keywords: science studies; human factors; scientific knowledge; scientific institutions; objective examination; relativism

Chapter.  4291 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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