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Record Type: Review   ID: 178

Social Epistemology

Fuller, Steve

 Fuller is a philosopher of science but writes this book on behalf of the sociology of knowledge. He is not concerned with "whether our beliefs in an external world are veridical or justified" (p. xi) but rather, he is interested in "knowledge productions," which he says "includes how certain linguistic artifacts (‘texts’) become certified as knowledge; the possible circulation patterns of these artifacts (especially how they are used to produce other such artifacts, as well as artifacts that have political and other cultural consequences); and the production of certain attitudes on the part of producers about the nature of the entire knowledge enterprise (such as the belief that it ‘progresses’)" (pp. xi-xii). He sets out to address the problem with most philosophy of science—which is that it is conducted in a social vacuum. [As regards science and exceptional human experience, most of the scientific attempts to investigate these anomalous experiences also have been made in a social vacuum. The social background of the participant has rarely been taken into account except in the most superficial ways and the question of the social relevance of the questions asked and their potential answers is rarely even considered. EHEers appear to exist in sufficient numbers that they are likely to set their own agendas and leave science behind. We must not view science simply as a means to answer certain questions but part of doing science should include asking what for whom and why.]
Publisher Information:Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991, c1988. 316p. Bibl: 295-311; Index: 313-316
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