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Drawing Out Leviathan: Dinosaurs and the Science Wars (Life of the Past)

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Drawing Out Leviathan: Dinosaurs and the Science Wars (Life of the Past) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"... are dinosaurs social constructs? Do we really know anything about dinosaurs? Might not all of our beliefs about dinosaurs merely be figments of the paleontological imagination? A few years ago such questions would have seemed preposterous, even nonsensical. Now they must have a serious answer."

At stake in the "Science Wars" that have raged in academe and in the media is nothing less than the standing of science in our culture. One side argues that science is a "social construct," that it does not discover facts about the world, but rather constructs artifacts disguised as objective truths. This view threatens the authority of science and rejects science's claims to objectivity, rationality, and disinterested inquiry. Drawing Out Leviathan examines this argument in the light of some major debates about dinosaurs: the case of the wrong-headed dinosaur, the dinosaur "heresies" of the 1970s, and the debate over the extinction of dinosaurs.

Keith Parsons claims that these debates, though lively and sometimes rancorous, show that evidence and logic, not arbitrary "rules of the game," remained vitally important, even when the debates were at their nastiest. They show science to be a complex set of activities, pervaded by social influences, and not easily reducible to any stereotype. Parsons acknowledges that there are lessons to be learned by scientists from their would-be adversaries, and the book concludes with some recommendations for ending the Science Wars.

Synopsis:

In this examination of the "Science Wars", where science is debated not as discovering facts of the world but rather constructing artifacts disguised as objective truths, the author cites some major debates about dinosaurs, including the case of the wrong-headed dinosaur and the debate of the extinction of dinosaurs. 15 photos.

Synopsis:

... are dinosaurs social constructs? Do we really know anythingabout dinosaurs? Might not all of our beliefs about dinosaurs merely be figments ofthe paleontological imagination? A few years ago such questions would have seemedpreposterous, even nonsensical. Now they must have a seriousanswer.

At stake in the Science Wars that haveraged in academe and in the media is nothing less than the standing of science inour culture. One side argues that science is a social construct, that itdoes not discover facts about the world, but rather constructs artifacts disguisedas objective truths. This view threatens the authority of science and rejectsscience's claims to objectivity, rationality, and disinterested inquiry. Drawing OutLeviathan examines this argument in the light of some major debates about dinosaurs: the case of the wrong-headed dinosaur, the dinosaur heresies of the1970s, and the debate over the extinction of dinosaurs.

KeithParsons claims that these debates, though lively and sometimes rancorous, show thatevidence and logic, not arbitrary rules of the game, remained vitallyimportant, even when the debates were at their nastiest. They show science to be acomplex set of activities, pervaded by social influences, and not easily reducibleto any stereotype. Parsons acknowledges that there are lessons to be learned byscientists from their would-be adversaries, and the book concludes with somerecommendations for ending the Science Wars.

About the Author

KEITH M. PARSONS is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Houston, Clear Lake and author of God and the Burden of Proof. He is editor of Philo, Journal of the Society of Humanist Philosophers.

Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Introduction: Why the Science Wars Matter

1. Mr. Carnegie's Sauropods

2. The Heresies of Dr. Bakker

3. The "Conversion" of David Raup

4. Are Dinosaurs Social Constructs?

5. Le Dinosaure Postmoderne

6. History, Wiggery, and Progress

7. Beyond the Science Wars: A Concluding Meditation

References

Product Details

ISBN:
9780253339379
Subtitle:
Dinosaurs and the Science Wars
Author:
Parsons, Keith M.
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Location:
Bloomington, IN
Subject:
General
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Science
Subject:
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
Paleontology
Subject:
Dinosaurs
Subject:
Fossils
Subject:
Science -- Philosophy.
Subject:
Science Reference-Philosophy of Science
Subject:
Philosophy & Aspects
Subject:
History and Philosophy of Science; Paleontology; Science
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Life of the Past
Series Volume:
RN-425
Publication Date:
20011001
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
15 bandw photos
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
9.54 x 6.43 x 0.89 in

Related Subjects


Reference » Science Reference » General
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Dinosaurs
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Paleontology

Drawing Out Leviathan: Dinosaurs and the Science Wars (Life of the Past) New Hardcover
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$24.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Indiana University Press - English 9780253339379 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
In this examination of the "Science Wars", where science is debated not as discovering facts of the world but rather constructing artifacts disguised as objective truths, the author cites some major debates about dinosaurs, including the case of the wrong-headed dinosaur and the debate of the extinction of dinosaurs. 15 photos.
"Synopsis" by , ... are dinosaurs social constructs? Do we really know anythingabout dinosaurs? Might not all of our beliefs about dinosaurs merely be figments ofthe paleontological imagination? A few years ago such questions would have seemedpreposterous, even nonsensical. Now they must have a seriousanswer.

At stake in the Science Wars that haveraged in academe and in the media is nothing less than the standing of science inour culture. One side argues that science is a social construct, that itdoes not discover facts about the world, but rather constructs artifacts disguisedas objective truths. This view threatens the authority of science and rejectsscience's claims to objectivity, rationality, and disinterested inquiry. Drawing OutLeviathan examines this argument in the light of some major debates about dinosaurs: the case of the wrong-headed dinosaur, the dinosaur heresies of the1970s, and the debate over the extinction of dinosaurs.

KeithParsons claims that these debates, though lively and sometimes rancorous, show thatevidence and logic, not arbitrary rules of the game, remained vitallyimportant, even when the debates were at their nastiest. They show science to be acomplex set of activities, pervaded by social influences, and not easily reducibleto any stereotype. Parsons acknowledges that there are lessons to be learned byscientists from their would-be adversaries, and the book concludes with somerecommendations for ending the Science Wars.

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