A House Built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths About by Noretta Koertge

By Noretta Koertge

Cultural critics say that "science is politics through different means," arguing that the result of medical inquiry are profoundly formed by way of the ideological agendas of strong elites. They base their claims on old case reports purporting to teach the systematic intrusion of sexist, racist, capitalist, colonialist, and/or specialist pursuits into the very content material of technology. during this hard-hitting choice of essays, participants supply crisp and targeted reviews of case stories provided by way of the cultural critics as proof that clinical effects let us know extra approximately social context than they do in regards to the flora and fauna. Pulling no punches, they determine a number of crude actual error (e.g. that Newton by no means played any experiments) and egregious mistakes of omission, comparable to the try to clarify the gradual improvement of fluid dynamics exclusively when it comes to gender bias. the place there are features of a improper account, or anything to be realized from it, they don't hesitate to assert so. Their objective is shoddy scholarship.
Comprising new essays via exclusive students of heritage, philosophy, and technological know-how, this ebook increases a full of life debate to a brand new point of seriousness.

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11). ” 54 Harding is a perfectly good “type specimen” of the views that Gross and Levitt want to oppose. The trouble with their treatment of other workers in Science Studies—other feminists like Longino and Keller and nonfeminists like Shapin and Schaffer—is that they are seen as variants of this same general type. Longino and Keller, we are told, also want to “defend ideology in the academy” (Gross and Levitt, 1994, p. 136); Shapin and Schaffer stick up for the “voiceless and excluded masses” against “snobbish, purse-proud, rank-conscious plutocrats” (69).

37 leave. Curious stories are then told about the ways in which class or gender, toilet training or religious education, political disputes in the wider society, and large cultural styles determine the character of a researcher's work. Often these treatments are described with so broad a brush, connecting with the details of the scientific work at so high a level of generality—or even misunderstanding—that the research professional is easily moved to righteous indignation and, hence, some of the legitimate complaints about scientific ignorance raised by Gross, Levitt, Sokal, Wolpert, and others.

12 Nonetheless, items 1 through 5 are, at least superficially, accurate descriptions of aspects of science that would strike those who reflect on most areas of science and their histories, so that scholars who wish to reject them have to take on the burden of explaining why appearances are deceptive. We don't have to probe very deeply to find out why the realist–rationalist cluster is advanced. There are striking differences between the historical development of the arts and literature and the historical development of the sciences: older scientific claims live on in textbooks; the education of scientists frequently recapitulates, to some extent, the history of the disciplines in which they are trained; and older tools and techniques, both conceptual and physical, are still used to solve research problems, often with an explicit understanding of their limitations.

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