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

By John H. Zammito

ISBN-10: 0226978621

ISBN-13: 9780226978628

Since the Nineteen Fifties, many philosophers of technological know-how have attacked positivism—the conception that medical wisdom is grounded in aim truth. Reconstructing the historical past of those opinions, John H. Zammito argues that whereas so-called postpositivist theories of technological know-how are quite often invoked, they really offer little aid for trendy postmodern methods to technology studies.

Zammito exhibits how difficulties that Quine and Kuhn observed within the philosophy of the typical sciences encouraged a flip to the philosophy of language for solution. This linguistic flip resulted in claims that technological know-how has to be positioned in either historic and social contexts, however the claims of contemporary "science reviews" basically deepened the philosophical challenge. In essence, Zammito argues that not one of the issues of positivism offers the slightest justification for denigrating empirical inquiry and medical perform, offering particularly a blow to the "discipline" postmodern technological know-how studies.

Filling a spot in scholarship thus far, A great Derangement of Epistemes will entice historians, philosophers, philosophers of technology, and the wider clinical community.

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

Example text

Communication is well named. "276 "I hold ... that the behaviorist approach is mandatory. In psychology one mayor may not be a behaviorist, but in linguistics one has no choice.... Our mental life between checkpoints is indifferent to our rating THE PERILS OF SEMANTIC ASCENT as a master of the language. "277 It is commonplace in the secondary literature to insist that Quine not be lumped with the now quite discredited views of behaviorism as a general theory of psychology or human action. There are grounds, I would counter, to question such an exemption for Quine.

One English manual might substitute "undetached rabbit part" as a translation of rabbit and satisfy all the observational evidence. Only, for each English speaker, within 35 36 CHAPTER TWO either n1anual, the distinction between rabbit and "undetached rabbit part" would be intelligibly sufficient to deny their synonymy, so that the two manuals would be incompatible. The looseness of fit of language to world, the reduction of "natural kinds" to a vanishing minimum, and the denial that there are any "joints" at which nature can be "cut," leaves us with the inescapable condition that language participates in the construction of objects: in other words, there is no theory-neutral language.

Observation categoricals are implicit still in the predicting of archaeological finds and the deciphering of inscriptions, but the glories of history would be lost if we stopped and stayed at the checkpoints. "267 Quine clearly entertains the old positivist hierarchy of the sciences. It is Rorty who will wash away all discrimination between the Geisteswissenschaften and the Naturwissenschaften, though in a manner diametrically opposed to Quine-by dissolving the claim of the natural sciences to any "fact of the n1atter" of their own.

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