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Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry

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Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Conventional wisdom has it that the sciences, properly pursued, constitute a pure, value-free method of obtaining knowledge about the natural world. In light of the social and normative dimensions of many scientific debates, Helen Longino finds that general accounts of scientific methodology cannot support this common belief. Focusing on the notion of evidence, the author argues that a methodology powerful enough to account for theories of any scope and depth is incapable of ruling out the influence of social and cultural values in the very structuring of knowledge. The objectivity of scientific inquiry can nevertheless be maintained, she proposes, by understanding scientific inquiry as a social rather than an individual process. Seeking to open a dialogue between methodologists and social critics of the sciences, Longino develops this concept of "contextual empiricism" in an analysis of research programs that have drawn criticism from feminists. Examining theories of human evolution and of prenatal hormonal determination of "gender-role" behavior, of sex differences in cognition, and of sexual orientation, the author shows how assumptions laden with social values affect the description, presentation, and interpretation of data. In particular, Longino argues that research on the hormonal basis of "sex-differentiated behavior" involves assumptions not only about gender relations but also about human action and agency. She concludes with a discussion of the relation between science, values, and ideology, based on the work of Habermas, Foucault, Keller, and Haraway.

Synopsis:

Examining theories of human evolution and of prenatal hormone determination of 'gender-role' behavior, of sex differences in cognition, and of sexual orientation, the author shows how assumptions laden with social values affect the description, presentation, and interpretation of data. In particular, Longino argues that research on the hormonal basis of 'sex-differentiated behavior' involves assumptions not only about gender relations but also about human action and agency. She concludes with a discussion of the relation between science, values, and ideology, based on the work of Habermas, Foucault, Keller, and Haraway.

Synopsis:

"Helen Longino has written a timely book that fills a critical gap in the existing literature between philosophy of science and the social studies of science. Her exposition of scientific inquiry as a context-laden process provides the conceptual tools we need to understand how social expectations shape the development of science while at the same time recognizing the dependence of scientific inquiry on its interactions with natural phenomena. This is an important book precisely because there is none other quite like it."--Evelyn Fox Keller, author of Reflections on Gender and Science

Synopsis:

Conventional wisdom has it that the sciences, properly pursued, constitute a pure, value-free method of obtaining knowledge about the natural world. In light of the social and normative dimensions of many scientific debates, Helen Longino finds that general accounts of scientific methodology cannot support this common belief. Focusing on the notion of evidence, the author argues that a methodology powerful enough to account for theories of any scope and depth is incapable of ruling out the influence of social and cultural values in the very structuring of knowledge. The objectivity of scientific inquiry can nevertheless be maintained, she proposes, by understanding scientific inquiry as a social rather than an individual process. Seeking to open a dialogue between methodologists and social critics of the sciences, Longino develops this concept of "contextual empiricism" in an analysis of research programs that have drawn criticism from feminists. Examining theories of human evolution and of prenatal hormonal determination of "gender-role" behavior, of sex differences in cognition, and of sexual orientation, the author shows how assumptions laden with social values affect the description, presentation, and interpretation of data. In particular, Longino argues that research on the hormonal basis of "sex-differentiated behavior" involves assumptions not only about gender relations but also about human action and agency. She concludes with a discussion of the relation between science, values, and ideology, based on the work of Habermas, Foucault, Keller, and Haraway.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691020518
Author:
Longino, Helen E.
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton, N.J. :
Subject:
Reference
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Science
Subject:
Epistemology
Subject:
Minority Studies
Subject:
Methodology
Subject:
Women's studies -- Methodology.
Subject:
Sociologia
Subject:
Filosofia Da Ciencia
Subject:
Mulher E Feminismo
Subject:
History of Science and Medicine, Philosophy of Science
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Gender Studies
Subject:
Science -- Methodology.
Subject:
Science Reference-General
Subject:
Science General-Reference
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
no. 1988-472
Publication Date:
February 1990
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
280
Dimensions:
9.23x6.11x.69 in. .88 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Reference » Science Reference » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry New Trade Paper
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$52.50 In Stock
Product details 280 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691020518 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Examining theories of human evolution and of prenatal hormone determination of 'gender-role' behavior, of sex differences in cognition, and of sexual orientation, the author shows how assumptions laden with social values affect the description, presentation, and interpretation of data. In particular, Longino argues that research on the hormonal basis of 'sex-differentiated behavior' involves assumptions not only about gender relations but also about human action and agency. She concludes with a discussion of the relation between science, values, and ideology, based on the work of Habermas, Foucault, Keller, and Haraway.
"Synopsis" by , "Helen Longino has written a timely book that fills a critical gap in the existing literature between philosophy of science and the social studies of science. Her exposition of scientific inquiry as a context-laden process provides the conceptual tools we need to understand how social expectations shape the development of science while at the same time recognizing the dependence of scientific inquiry on its interactions with natural phenomena. This is an important book precisely because there is none other quite like it."--Evelyn Fox Keller, author of Reflections on Gender and Science
"Synopsis" by , Conventional wisdom has it that the sciences, properly pursued, constitute a pure, value-free method of obtaining knowledge about the natural world. In light of the social and normative dimensions of many scientific debates, Helen Longino finds that general accounts of scientific methodology cannot support this common belief. Focusing on the notion of evidence, the author argues that a methodology powerful enough to account for theories of any scope and depth is incapable of ruling out the influence of social and cultural values in the very structuring of knowledge. The objectivity of scientific inquiry can nevertheless be maintained, she proposes, by understanding scientific inquiry as a social rather than an individual process. Seeking to open a dialogue between methodologists and social critics of the sciences, Longino develops this concept of "contextual empiricism" in an analysis of research programs that have drawn criticism from feminists. Examining theories of human evolution and of prenatal hormonal determination of "gender-role" behavior, of sex differences in cognition, and of sexual orientation, the author shows how assumptions laden with social values affect the description, presentation, and interpretation of data. In particular, Longino argues that research on the hormonal basis of "sex-differentiated behavior" involves assumptions not only about gender relations but also about human action and agency. She concludes with a discussion of the relation between science, values, and ideology, based on the work of Habermas, Foucault, Keller, and Haraway.
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