Fleck and the social constitution of scientific objectivity

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (4):272-285 (2009)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Ludwik Fleck’s theory of thought-styles has been hailed as a pioneer of constructivist science studies and sociology of scientific knowledge. But this consensus ignores an important feature of Fleck’s epistemology. At the core of his account is the ideal of ‘objective truth, clarity, and accuracy’. I begin with Fleck’s account of modern natural science, locating the ideal of scientific objectivity within his general social epistemology. I then draw on Fleck’s view of scientific objectivity to improve upon reflexive accounts of the origin and development of the theory of thought-styles, and reply to objections that Fleck’s epistemological stance is self-undermining or inconsistent. Explicating the role of scientific objectivity in Fleck’s epistemology reveals his view to be an internally consistent alternative to recent social accounts of scientific objectivity by Harding, Daston and Galison. I use these contrasts to indicate the strengths and weaknesses of Fleck’s innovative social epistemology, and propose modifications to address the latter. The result is a renewed version of Fleck’s social epistemology, which reconciles commitment to scientific objectivity with integrated sociology, history and philosophy of science

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,480

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Relativism or Relationism? A Mannheimian Interpretation of Fleck’s Claims About Relativism.Markus Seidel - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):219-240.
The Role of Skill in Experimentation: Reading Ludwik Fleck's Study of the Wasserman Reaction as an Example of Ian Hacking's Experimental Realism.David Stump - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:302 - 308.
Stabilizing and Changing Phenomenal Worlds: Ludwik Fleck and Thomas Kuhn on Scientific Literature.Stig Brorson & Hanne Andersen - 2001 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 32 (1):109-129.
Ludwik Fleck and the Concept of Style in the Natural Sciences.Claus Zittel - 2012 - Studies in East European Thought 64 (1-2):53-79.
From Fleck's Denkstil to Kuhn's Paradigm: Conceptual Schemes and Incommensurability.Babette E. Babich - 2003 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (1):75 – 92.
The Reading of Ludwik Fleck: Questions of Sources and Impetus.Eva Hedfors - 2006 - Social Epistemology 20 (2):131 – 161.
Rethinking Objectivity in Social Science.Eleonora Montuschi - 2004 - Social Epistemology 18 (2-3):109-122.
The Social Constitution of Action: Objectivity and Explanation.John D. Greenwood - 1990 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 20 (2):195-207.
Scientific Objectivity and the Logics of Science.H. E. Longino - 1983 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):85 – 106.
Marx and the Objectivity of Science.Peter Railton - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:813 - 826.
Objectivity.Lorraine Daston - 2007 - The MIT Press.
Ludwik Fleck on Proto-Ideas in Medicine.Stig Brorson - 2000 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 3 (2):147-152.
World 5 and Medical Knowledge.Kazem Sadegh-Zadeh - 1981 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (3):263-270.

Analytics

Added to PP
2010-09-12

Downloads
65 (#181,854)

6 months
3 (#210,496)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Melinda Bonnie Fagan
University of Utah