Split Personalities, or The Science Wars Within

Jay A. Labinger

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:
Split Personalities, or The Science Wars Within

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The aspect this chapter is specifically concerned with is: to what degree is one justified in extrapolating from commonsense or “easy” cases to claims made with respect to science in general? For example, Bricmont and Sokal use the “obvious” question of whether or not it is raining as a starting point to address the role of reality in determining belief. They do recognize that there is an issue here: one can question whether “ordinary” and “scientific” knowledge should be treated the same way. Yes, they conclude: if reality constrains ordinary knowledge, it constrains scientific knowledge even more so because experimental science is carried out expressly to make that the case. Thus science would seem to be just an elaborate form of common sense.

Keywords: science wars; Bricmont; Sokal; scientific knowledge; experimental science; common sense

Chapter.  1727 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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