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AuthorAgassi, Joseph. author
TitleScience and Society [electronic resource] : Studies in the Sociology of Science / by Joseph Agassi
ImprintDordrecht : Springer Netherlands, 1981
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Descript XXII, 536 p. 1 illus. online resource


"If a science has to be supported by fraudulent means, let it perish. " With these words of Kepler, Agassi plunges into the actual troubles and glories of science (321). The SOciology of science is no foreign intruder upon scientific knowledge in these essays, for we see clearly how Agassi transforms the tired internalistJexternalist debate about the causal influences in the history of science. The social character of the entire intertwined epistemological and practical natures of the sciences is intrinsic to science and itself split: the internal sociology within science, the external sociology of the social setting without. Agassi sees these social matters in the small as well as the large: from the details of scientific communication, changing publishing as he thinks to 'on-demand' centralism with less waste (Ch. 12), to the colossal tension of romanticism and rationality in the sweep of historical cultures. Agassi is a moral and political philosopher of science, defending, disยญ turbing, comprehending, criticizing. For him, science in a society requires confrontation, again and again, with issues of autonomy vs. legitimation as the central problem of democracy. And furthermore, devotion to science, pace Popper, Polanyi, and Weber, carries preoccupational dangers: Popper's elitist rooting out of 'pseudo-science', Weber's hard-working obsessive . comยญ mitment to science. See Agassi's Weberian gloss on the social psychology of science in his provocative 'picture of the scientist as maniac' (437)


1. Introduction: Science in Its Social Setting -- 2. The Present State of the Philosophy of Science -- 3. Was Wittgenstein Really Necessary? -- 4. Epistemology as an Aid to Science -- 5. Externalism -- 6. The Autonomy of Science -- 7. The Legitimation of Science -- 8. Sociologism in Philosophy of Science -- 9. Revolutions in Science, Occasional or Permanent? -- 10. Cultural Lag in Science -- 11. Storage and Communication of Knowledge -- 12. The Economics of Scientific Publications -- 13. Revising the Referee System -- 14. Scientific Schools and Their Success -- 15. Genius in Science -- 16. Scientists as Sleepwalkers -- 17. The Logic of Scientific Inquiry -- 18. The Choice of Scientific Problems -- 19. Between Metaphysics and Methodology -- 20. Research Project -- 21. The Methodology of Research Projects: A Sketch -- 22. Continuity and Discontinuity in the History of Science -- 23. Three Views of the Renaissance of Science -- 24. On Explaining the Trial of Galileo -- 25. The Origins of the Royal Society -- 26. The Ideological Import of Newton -- 27. Sir John Herschelโ{128}{153}s Philosophy of Success -- 28. What Makes for a Scientific Golden Age? -- 29. Max Weberโ{128}{153}s Scientific Religion -- 30. On Pursuing the Unattainable -- 31. Faith Has Nothing to do With Rationality -- 32. Rationality and the Tu Quoque Argument -- 33. Technocracy and Scientific Progress -- 34. Standards to Live By -- Bibliography of Joseph Agasssi -- Index of Names -- Index of Subjects

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