Download A Nice Derangement of Epistemes: Post-positivism in the by John H. Zammito PDF

By John H. Zammito

Since the Nineteen Fifties, many philosophers of technological know-how have attacked positivism—the concept that medical wisdom is grounded in target truth. Reconstructing the background of those evaluations, John H. Zammito argues that whereas so-called postpositivist theories of technological know-how are quite often invoked, they really supply little help for trendy postmodern techniques to technological know-how studies.

Zammito exhibits how difficulties that Quine and Kuhn observed within the philosophy of the usual sciences encouraged a flip to the philosophy of language for answer. This linguistic flip resulted in claims that technology has to be positioned in either historic and social contexts, however the claims of contemporary "science reports" simply deepened the philosophical obstacle. In essence, Zammito argues that not one of the issues of positivism presents the slightest justification for denigrating empirical inquiry and clinical perform, offering rather a blow to the "discipline" postmodern technology studies.

Filling a spot in scholarship up to now, A great Derangement of Epistemes will attract historians, philosophers, philosophers of technological know-how, and the wider clinical community.

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Additional info for A Nice Derangement of Epistemes: Post-positivism in the Study of Science from Quine to Latour

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158 Quine has persuaded Ian Hacking that the phrase "Nature can be carved at the joints" is infamous. 160 Quine explains this in terms of his theories of language acquisition and cultural progress. In both instances the naturalistic basis of his argument is decisive. There is a biological predisposition, probably tied to evolutionary survival, to discern in the environment" bodies" of fixed and solid contour: "We and our fellow mammals have a robust sense of the reality of gross bodies around us.

Be taken naturalistically within our scientific theory of the world. "248 Still, "facts of the matter" are immanent or "internal to our theory of nature. "249 It is impossible to take a stance outside a theory (language), and hence any staten1ent about evidence is within a theory. As Gibson puts it, "there are no unique evidential relations to be found between sensory evidence and the theories it supports. "250 There is no theory-neutral observationa I language, to use the terminology of Mary Hesse.

148 For them, Quine has unwarrantedly shifted the entire epistemic issue concerning warranted belief in theories (evidence) into a semantic issue of their logical entailments (truth). This has an air of paradox to it, and that is enhanced when they cite Quine's words from the conclusion of "Epistemology Naturalized": "epistemology now becomes semantics. " 149 Laudan and Leplin take this to mean that Quine is practicing a "semantic ascent" here. But in fact, this is a passage in which Quine is invoking his most unregenerate naturalistic or "empiricist" commitments.

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