Science

Science

by Steve Fuller, University of Minnesota Press
     
 

What qualifies such seemingly disparate disciplines as paleontology, high-energy physics, industrial chemistry and genetic engineering as "sciences," and hence worthy of sustained public interest and support? In this innovative and controversial introduction to the social character of scientific knowledge, Steve Fuller argues that if these disciplines share anything… See more details below

Overview

What qualifies such seemingly disparate disciplines as paleontology, high-energy physics, industrial chemistry and genetic engineering as "sciences," and hence worthy of sustained public interest and support? In this innovative and controversial introduction to the social character of scientific knowledge, Steve Fuller argues that if these disciplines share anything at all, it is more likely to be the way they strategically misinterpret their own history than any privileged access to the nature of reality. The book features a report written in the persons of a Martian anthropologist who systematically compares religious and scientific institutions on earth, only to find that science does not necessarily live up to its own ideals of rationality. In addition, Fuller highlights science's multicultural nature through a discussion of episodes in which the West's own understanding of science has been decisively affected by its encounters with Islam and Japan. An important theme of the book is that science's most attractive feature - its openness to criticism - is threatened by the role it increasingly plays in the maintenance of social and economic order.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816631254
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
02/28/1998
Series:
Concepts Social Thought Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1The Public Understanding of Science: Our Latest Moral Panic1
2The Sociological Peculiarity of the Natural Sciences12
3'Science', 'Scientific', 'Scientist': Some Exercises in Conceptual Analysis25
4Science as Superstition: A Lost Martian Chronicle40
5The Secret of Science's Success: Convenient Forgetfulness80
6Western Science from the Outside In: The View from Islam and Japan106
7Science as the Standard of Civilization: Does it have a Future?137
Suggested Reading145
References147
Index156

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