Biological Theory

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 390–400

The Social Life of Scientific Theories: A Case Study from Behavioral Sciences

Thematic Issue Article: The Meaning of "Theory" in Biology

DOI: 10.1007/s13752-012-0053-3

Cite this article as:
Longino, H.E. Biol Theory (2013) 7: 390. doi:10.1007/s13752-012-0053-3


This article reports on the third phase of a comparative epistemological, ontological, and social analysis of a variety of approaches to investigating human behavior. In focusing on the fate of scientific ideas once they leave the context in which they were developed, I hope not only to show that their communication for a broader audience imposes a shape on their interrelations different than they seem to have in the research context, but also to suggest that a study comparing different approaches to the same phenomenon is more illuminating than one that focuses on a single approach.


Aggression researchBehavioral scienceImplicit theoryPublic understanding of scienceSexual orientation researchSocial dimensions of science

Copyright information

© Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA