The irrelevance of "demarcationist" philosophies of science for the sociology of knowledge

Date created: 
1983
Keywords: 
Sociology of Knowledge
Scientific enquiry
Context of justification
Context of discovery
Abstract: 

Sociology of Knowledge is influenced by theories of philosophy which demarcate science from non science. It is argued furthermore that scientific enquiry can be divided into a context of justification and a context of discovery. Within the context of justification, notions such as “observation language”, “theory”, “ axiomatization” etc are sufficient to fully explain the results of scientific enquiry. The context of discovery includes human circumstances but these cannot contribute to the justification of science as a claim to knowledge. I argue that the arguments presented are crucially flawed and cannot serve to justify any principled demarcation or division of contexts. I argue that scientific knowledge may well be presented in an artificial language but this language cannot be demarcated from ordinary language. Scientific enquiry can be placed in a broader cognitive outlook supported by broader cultural practices and ordinary language.

Description: 
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Language: 
English
Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
K
Department: 
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)
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