The Narrative of Scientific Epistemology

George Levine

in Dying to Know

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780226475363
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226475387 | DOI:
The Narrative of Scientific Epistemology

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This chapter addresses the consequence of various manifestations of the mutual dependence of epistemological ideas and narrative. It specifically involves a rather arbitrary tour through the history of commentary on scientific knowledge, from Rene Descartes to Donna Haraway. The parallels between Francis Bacon's narrative and Descartes' remarkably affirmed the significance to Western science of narrative justification. It then evaluates several alternative approaches to the narratives of deadly neutrality. Like Rom Harré before her but with different reasons and with a different rhetoric, Haraway wants both to accept the critiques of science and to sustain the enterprise of science that makes a difference in the real world. Haraway, Helen Longino, Stephen Kellert, Steven Shapin, and Harré imagine an epistemology that is both objectivist and human.

Keywords: epistemological ideas; scientific knowledge; Rene Descartes; Donna Haraway; Francis Bacon; Rom Harré; Helen Longino; Stephen Kellert; Steven Shapin; narrative

Chapter.  11961 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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