Science as Practice and Culture / Edition 2

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Science as Practice and Culture explores one of the newest and most controversial developments within the rapidly changing field of science studies: the move toward studying scientific practice--the work of doing science--and the associated move toward studying scientific culture, understood as the field of resources that practice operates in and on. Andrew Pickering has invited leading historians, philosophers, sociologists, and anthropologists of science to prepare original essays for this volume. The essays range over the physical and biological sciences and mathematics, and are divided into two parts. In part I, the contributors map out a coherent set of perspectives on scientific practice and culture, and relate their analyses to central topics in the philosophy of science such as realism, relativism, and incommensurability. The essays in part II seek to delineate the study of science as practice in arguments across its borders with the sociology of scientific knowledge, social epistemology, and reflexive ethnography. Andrew Pickering is associate professor in the Department of Sociology and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Constructing Quarks: A Sociological History of Particle Physics, published by the University of Chicago Press.
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Editorial Reviews

Pickering (sociology, U. of Illinois) invited the authors he was already discussing in his advanced undergraduate-graduate seminars on the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) to contribute to this volume of original essays. The five essays in part one, "Positions," are self-contained pieces that represent individual perspectives on that part of SSK that is concerned with scientific practice rather than with scientific knowledge per se. The nine essays in part two, "Arguments," address the question of whether studies of science as practice should be seen as a genuine and viable departure from classical SSK, and if so, whether this departure is a step forward or backward. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226668017
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1992
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 474
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Pickering is professor in the Department of Sociology and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Constructing Quarks: A Sociological History of Particle Physics, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Table of Contents

1 From Science as Knowledge to Science as Practice 1
Pt. 1 Positions
2 The Self-Vindication of the Laboratory Sciences 29
3 Putting Agency Back into Experiment 65
4 The Couch, the Cathedral, and the Laboratory: On the Relationship between Experiment and Laboratory in Science 113
5 Constructing Quaternions: On the Analysis of Conceptual Practice 139
6 Crafting Science: Standardized Packages, Boundary Objects, and "Translation" 168
Pt. 2 Arguments
7 Extending Wittgenstein: The Pivotal Move from Epistemology to the Sociology of Science 215
8 Left and Right Wittgensteinians 266
9 From the "Will to Theory" to the Discursive Collage: A Reply to Bloor's "Left and Right Wittgensteinians" 283
10 Epistemological Chicken 301
11 Some Remarks About Positionism: A Reply to Collins and Yearley 327
12 Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bath School! A Reply to Collins and Yearley 343
13 Journey into Space 369
14 Social Epistemology and the Research Agenda of Science Studies 390
15 Border Crossings: Narrative Strategies in Science Studies and among Physicists in Tsukuba Science City, Japan 429
Contributors 467
Index 469
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