Stages in the Empirical Programme of Relativism

  title={Stages in the Empirical Programme of Relativism},
  author={Harry M. Collins},
  journal={Social Studies of Science},
  pages={10 - 3}
  • H. M. Collins
  • Published 1 February 1981
  • Philosophy
  • Social Studies of Science
Modern philosophy of science has allowed an extra dimensiontime into descriptions of the nature of scientific knowledge. Theories are now seen as linked to each other, and tQ observations, not by fixed bonds of logic and correspondence, but by a network, each link of which takes time to be established as consensus emerges and each link of which is potentially revisable given time.' Many contributors to this new model intend only to make philosophy of science compatible with history while… 

Realism, relativism, and constructivism

This paper gives a critical evaluation of the philosophical presuppositions and implications of two current schools in the sociology of knowledge: the Strong Programme of Bloor and Barnes; and the

Duhem, Quine, Wittgenstein and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge: Continuity or Self-Legitimating?

Contemporary sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) is defined by its relativist trend. Its programme often calls for the support of philosophers, such as Duhem, Quine, and Wittgenstein. A critical

Sociology of science and the turn to social constructivism

Knowledge about and reflection on the epistemological developments in sociology of science is an important step towards a critical analysis of the discipline, its present, and its future. The

Why Does History Matter to the Science Studies Disciplines? A Case for Giving the Past Back Its Future

AbstractScience and technology studies (STS) has perhaps provided the most ambitious set of challenges to the boundary separating history and philosophy of science since the 19th century idealists

Plausible Coselection of Belief by Referent: All the “Objectivity” That Is Possible

Are the achievements of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) compatible with the view that (in some sciences at least) the beliefs of scientists have increased in empirical adequacy and/or

The Situated Materiality of Scientific Practices: Postconstructivism - a New Theoretical Perspective in Sci-

For about 20 years, a rather wide range of conceptual approaches to the social study of science and technology have emerged which have occasionally been labelled “postconstructivist”. Although these


U P UNTIL THE 1970s, sociologists of science did not examine the actual cognitive content of scientific ideas, as they believed that these were ultimately determined by nature and not a product of

Constructivism for Philosophers (Be it a Remark on Realism)

  • Ofer Gal
  • Philosophy
    Perspectives on Science
  • 2002
Bereft of the illusion of an epistemic vantage point external to science, what should be our commitment towards the categories, concepts and terms of that very science? Should we, despaired of the

Two Sociologies of Science in Search of Truth: Bourdieu Versus Latour

The sociology of science seeks to theorize the social conditioning of science. This theorizing seems to undermine the validity of scientific knowledge and lead to relativism. Bourdieu and Latour both



Norms and ideology in science

For many years, the scientific research community within the modern Western academic setting was depicted by sociologists as being predominantly openminded, impartial and objective. These features,

The Effects of Social Context on the Process of Scientific Investigation: Experimental Tests of Quantum Mechanics

This paper deals with a case-study from the recent history of physics, and the general aim of the paper is to illustrate the role of a wide variety of factors, other than purely internal technical

The Seven Sexes: A Study in the Sociology of a Phenomenon, or the Replication of Experiments in Physics

The replication of scientific experiments is discussed stressing the problem of communication between the originator of an experiment and a scientist intending to replicate it. Models of

On The Construction of Creativity: The ‘Memory Transfer’ Phenomenon and the Importance of Being Earnest (1)

This paper is concerned with some aspects of the construction of a now widely rejected piece of scientific knowledge, the ‘memory transfer’ phenomenon (2), which has been the focus of a controversy

The Construction of the Paranormal: Nothing Unscientific is Happening

RECENT studies have exposed the social components involved in the assessment of the validity of scientific findings, a process normally thought of as being in some way immune to social forces. This

From a Logical Point of View

It is the wish of the author to keep general terms distinct from abstract singular terms, so that the over-all dis­ pensability of some assumption that has always rankled as ad hoc and unintuitive is discovered.