The possibility of a mathematical sociology of scientific communication

Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 27 (2):243-265 (1996)
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The focus on discourse and communication in the recent sociology of scientific knowledge offers new perspectives for an integration of qualitative and quantitative approaches in science studies. The common point of interest is the question of how reflexive communication systems communicate. The elaboration of the mathematical theory of communication into a theory of potentially self-organizing entropical systems enables us to distinguish the various layers of communication, and to specify the dynamic changes in these configurations over time. For example, a paradigmatic discourse can be considered as a virtual communication system at the supra-individual level. Communication systems, however, cannot be directly observed. One observes only their instantaneous operations. The reflexive analyst is able to attribute the observed uncertainty to hypothesized systems that interact in the events. The implications of this perspective for various programmes in the sociology of scientific knowledge are discussed



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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
Criticism and the growth of knowledge.Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.) - 1970 - Cambridge [Eng.]: Cambridge University Press.
Scientific reasoning: the Bayesian approach.Peter Urbach & Colin Howson - 1993 - Chicago: Open Court. Edited by Peter Urbach.
Knowledge and social imagery.David Bloor - 1976 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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