, Volume 177, Issue 3, pp 301–316

Socially relevant philosophy of science: an introduction



This paper provides an argument for a more socially relevant philosophy of science (SRPOS). Our aims in this paper are to characterize this body of work in philosophy of science, to argue for its importance, and to demonstrate that there are significant opportunities for philosophy of science to engage with and support this type of research. The impetus of this project was a keen sense of missed opportunities for philosophy of science to have a broader social impact. We illustrate various ways in which SRPOS can provide social benefits, as well as benefits to scientific practice and philosophy itself. Also, SRPOS is consistent with some historical and contemporary goals of philosophy of science. We’re calling for an expansion of philosophy of science to include more of this type of work. In order to support this expansion, we characterize philosophy of science as an epistemic community and examine the culture and practices of philosophy of science that can help or hinder research in this area.


Philosophy of science Socially relevant philosophy of science Epistemic communities Social epistemology 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Centre for Knowledge IntegrationUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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