Science as a Belief System 2

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  • Created by: Anjalee
  • Created on: 05-01-13 17:27
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  • Science as a Belief System
    • The Sociology of Scientific Knowledge
      • Little Green Men
        • Woolgar states that scientists are engaged in the same process of 'making sense' of the world as everyone else.  They have to persuade others of their interpretations.
        • In the case of discovering 'pulsars,' the scientists originally labelled the patterns LGM1, LGM2... but recognising this was an unacceptable interpretation from the viewpoint of the scientific community, they altered their interpretation. As Woolgar notes, a scientific fact is simply a social construction that scientists are able to persuade their colleagues to share.
  • Science as a Closed System
    • Science as a Belief System
      • The Sociology of Scientific Knowledge
        • Little Green Men
          • Woolgar states that scientists are engaged in the same process of 'making sense' of the world as everyone else.  They have to persuade others of their interpretations.
          • In the case of discovering 'pulsars,' the scientists originally labelled the patterns LGM1, LGM2... but recognising this was an unacceptable interpretation from the viewpoint of the scientific community, they altered their interpretation. As Woolgar notes, a scientific fact is simply a social construction that scientists are able to persuade their colleagues to share.
    • Some argue that science  can be seen as a closed system of belief. Kuhn argues that science is based of a set of shared assumptions called a paradigm. The paradigms lays down the outlines for scientists.
    • Scientific education and training is the process of being socialised into  the truth of the paradigm. A successful career depends on working within the paradigm.
  • Interpretivist sociologists argue that all knowledge is socially constructed. Knorr-Cetina argues that the invention of new instruments permits scientists to make new observations and  'fabricate' new facts.  Moreover laboratory work is highly 'constructed' and far removed from the natural world.
    • Marxism,  feminism and postmodernity
      • Marxists and Feminists see scientific knowledge as serving the interests of dominant groups.  In a different sense, postmodernist, Lyotard claims that science is a meta-narrative  or way of thinking that is used to dominate people.

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