Longino (2015)

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Longino, Helen. (2015) The Social Dimensions of Scientific Knowledge. In Zalta (Ed.) (2016). Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2016/entries/scientific-knowledge-social/.

Title The Social Dimensions of Scientific Knowledge
Resource Type collection article
Author(s) Helen Longino
Year 2015
URL http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2016/entries/scientific-knowledge-social/
Collection Zalta (Ed.) (2016)


Study of the social dimensions of scientific knowledge encompasses the effects of scientific research on human life and social relations, the effects of social relations and values on scientific research, and the social aspects of inquiry itself. Several factors have combined to make these questions salient to contemporary philosophy of science. These factors include the emergence of social movements, like environmentalism and feminism, critical of mainstream science; concerns about the social effects of science-based technologies; epistemological questions made salient by big science; new trends in the history of science, especially the move away from internalist historiography; anti-normative approaches in the sociology of science; turns in philosophy to naturalism and pragmatism. This entry reviews the historical background to current research in this area and features of contemporary science that invite philosophical attention.