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© 2011

Science Studies as Naturalized Philosophy

Benefits

  • Offers a critical overview of the main figures in Science and Technology Studies

  • Provides a historical and social setting for the emergence of Science and Technology Studies that makes this phenomenon more transparent to newcomers to the field

  • Points to fruitful lines of development for Science and Technology Studies in the future

Book

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 348)

Table of contents

About this book

Introduction

This book approaches its subject matter in a way that combines a strong analytical and critical perspective with a historical and sociological framework for the understanding of the emergence of Science Studies. This is a novelty, since extant literature on this topic tends either to narrate the history of the field, with little criticism, or to criticize Science Studies from a philosophical platform but with little interest in its historical and social context. The book provides a critical review of the most prominent figures in Science Studies (also known as Science and Technology Studies) and traces the historical roots of the discipline back to developments emerging after World War II. It also presents it as an heir to a long trend in Western thought towards the naturalization of philosophy, where a priori modes of thought are replaced by empirical ones. Finally, it points to ways for Science Studies to proceed in the future. "With this book, Finn Collin has established himself as the leading constructive philosophical critic of Science and Technology Studies. Science Studies as Naturalized Philosophy will likely be the key point of reference for any further writing on the topic for years to come." Steve Fuller, Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, United Kingdom

Keywords

Naturalization Philosophy of science Science and Technology Studies Sociology of science

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1., Dept of Media, Cognition and CommunicatiUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

About the authors

Finn Collin, born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1949. Mag. art. in philosophy from the University of Copenhagen in 1974, Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley in 1978. Dr. phil. in philosophy from the University of Copenhagen in 1985. Affiliated with the University of Copenhagen since 1988, professor of philosophy at the University of Copenhagen since 1998. Member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters since 2003. Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge in 1990, Visiting Scholar at University of California at Los Angeles in 1992, Visiting Scholar at University of California at Berkeley in 2008. Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. Major publications in English: Theory and Understanding. A Critique of Interpretive Social Science, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1985; Social Reality, Routledge, London, 1997.

Bibliographic information

Reviews

"Given the fast-moving and often controversial developments that have taken place in Science and Technology Studies (STS) over the past thirty years, it is easy to forget that the field originally aspired to be a version of naturalised epistemology. Finn Collin argues that this is still the best way to understand the field's leading figures and their often confusing twists and turns in position. Collin approaches the subject as a very informed, sympathetic yet ultimately critical reader of STS from the standpoint of analytic philosophy. The result is the most sophisticated and comprehensive presentation of STS as a philosophical work in progress that has yet to be written. It will likely be the key point of reference for any further writing on this topic for years to come."
Steven Fuller, Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, United Kingdom

"Drawing from experience, writing about the philosophical dimensions of STS theorists can be difficult. Selecting which figures are interesting enough to stand in as proxies for a diverse field while clarifying the philosophical dimensions of their collective thinking within the parameters of an intellectually rich, unified theme—here, naturalism—is downright challenging. Accomplishing both goals without lapsing into esoteric jargon that will delight a small cohort of readers but ultimately alienate a more generalized readership is practically impossible. I’m delighted to report that Prof. Collin succeeds in accomplishing all of these goals, and does so admirably—better than anyone else I’ve encountered in the secondary literature."
Evan Selinger, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology, U.S.A.