Advertisement

Argumentation

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 157–161 | Cite as

Social epistemology and reflexivity: Two versions of how to be really useful

  • Malcolm Ashmore
Article

Abstract

This essay argues that the really useful character of reflexivity is that it enables a radical critique of representation and its conventional material and rhetorical practices. It is uniquely able to produce paradox and thus disrupt discourses by undermining authorial privilege. Because Fuller's social epistemology is insensitive to its own reflexive implications, and limits itself to normative questions about knowledge policy, it is too limited — and limiting — to provide a context that can nurture reflexivity.

Key words

Epistemology normativity reflexivity social epistemology sociology of science sociology sociology of knowledge 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ashmore, M.: 1989,The Reflexive Thesis: Wrighting Sociology of Scientific Knowledge, Chicago, Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Ashmore, M.: 1993, ‘The Theatre of the Blind: Starring a Promethean Prankster, a Phoney Phenomenon, a Prism, a Pocket, and a Piece of Wood’,Social Studies of Science 23: 67–106.Google Scholar
  3. Ashmore, M., Mulkay, M. and Pinch T.: 1989,Health and Efficiency: A Sociology of Health Economics, Milton Keynes, Open University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Barnes, B. and Bloor, D.: 1982, ‘Relativism, Rationalism and the Sociology of Knowledge’, in Hollis, M. and Lukes, S. (eds.),Rationality and Relativism, Oxford, Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  5. Collins, H.: 1985,Changing Order: Replication and Induction in Scientific Practice, London and Beverly Hills, Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Fuller, S.: 1988,Social Epistemology, Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Gruenberg, B.: 1978, ‘The Problem of Reflexivity in the Sociology of Science’.Philosophy of the Social Sciences 8: 321–43.Google Scholar
  8. Hacking, I.: 1983,Representing and Intervening, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Latour, B.: 1987,Science in Action, Milton Keynes, Open University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Lynch, W. T. and Fuhrman, E.R.: 1991, ‘Recovering and Expanding the Normative: Marx and the new Sociology of Scientific Knowledge’,Science, Technology, and Human Values 16: 233–248.Google Scholar
  11. Pickering, A.: 1984,Constructing Quarks: A Sociological History of Particle Physics, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press; Chicago, University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  12. Pinch, T.: 1986,Confronting Nature: The Sociology of Solar-Neutrino Detection, Dordrecht and Boston, Reidel (Kluwer).Google Scholar
  13. Sapp, J.: 1990,Where the Truth Lies: Franz Moewus and the Origin of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Shapin, S. and Schaffer, S.: 1985,Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle and the Experimental Life, Princeton, Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Stove, D.: 1982:Popper and After: Four Modern Irrationalists, Oxford, Pergamon.Google Scholar
  16. Woolgar, S.: 1988,Knowledge and Reflexivity: New Frontiers in the Sociology of Knowledge, London and Beverly Hills, Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Woolgar, S.: 1992, ‘Some Remarks on Positionism: A Reply to Collins and Yearley’, in Pickering, A. (ed.),Science as Practice and Culture, Chicago, University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malcolm Ashmore
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesLoughborough University of TechnologyLoughboroughUK

Personalised recommendations