A Nice Derangement of Epistemes: Post-positivism in the - download pdf or read online

By John H. Zammito

ISBN-10: 0226978621

ISBN-13: 9780226978628

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

Zammito exhibits how difficulties that Quine and Kuhn observed within the philosophy of the traditional sciences encouraged a flip to the philosophy of language for answer. This linguistic flip resulted in claims that technological know-how should be positioned in either historic and social contexts, however the claims of contemporary "science experiences" in simple terms deepened the philosophical concern. In essence, Zammito argues that not one of the issues of positivism offers the slightest justification for denigrating empirical inquiry and clinical perform, offering fairly a blow to the "discipline" postmodern technology studies.

Filling a niche 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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Additional resources for A Nice Derangement of Epistemes: Post-positivism in the Study of Science from Quine to Latour

Sample text

The question is whether it is possible to be a linguistic holist of Quine's variety and still conceive empirical inquiry in any sense that saves the very idea of evidence and hence of epistemology. Quine's notion of ontological relativity puts drastic pressure on the naturalized epistemology he professes, for the inscrutability of reference which it entails makes it difficult to discern in what sense one might verify a claim. "189 Indeterminacy of THE PERILS OF SEMANTIC ASCENT language sin1ply obviates evidence.

Only because the field linguist brings to bear a whole tacit or active theory of language as a structure-with phonemics, syntax, and semantics, with a congeries of lexical units, and with certain overarching communicative goals-is it possible to venture even the crudest approximation of an analytical hypothesis. Without the whole of the home language-a natural language, it should be stressed-the field linguist would be helpless in the endeavor. What, one can imagine a Quinean immediately protesting, about the child learning its original language?

148 For them, Quine has unwarrantedly shifted the entire epistemic issue concerning warranted belief in theories (evidence) into a semantic issue of their logical entailments (truth). This has an air of paradox to it, and that is enhanced when they cite Quine's words from the conclusion of "Epistemology Naturalized": "epistemology now becomes semantics. " 149 Laudan and Leplin take this to mean that Quine is practicing a "semantic ascent" here. But in fact, this is a passage in which Quine is invoking his most unregenerate naturalistic or "empiricist" commitments.

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A Nice Derangement of Epistemes: Post-positivism in the Study of Science from Quine to Latour by John H. Zammito


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