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A Nice Derangement of Epistemes: Post-positivism in the by John H. Zammito

By John H. Zammito

Since the Nineteen Fifties, many philosophers of technology have attacked positivism—the conception that medical wisdom is grounded in aim truth. Reconstructing the background of those evaluations, John H. Zammito argues that whereas so-called postpositivist theories of technology are quite often invoked, they really supply little aid for stylish postmodern techniques to technology studies.

Zammito indicates how difficulties that Quine and Kuhn observed within the philosophy of the typical sciences encouraged a flip to the philosophy of language for answer. This linguistic flip resulted in claims that technological know-how has to be located in either old and social contexts, however the claims of modern "science reviews" in simple terms deepened the philosophical concern. In essence, Zammito argues that not one of the issues of positivism presents the slightest justification for denigrating empirical inquiry and clinical perform, providing fairly a blow to the "discipline" postmodern technological know-how studies.

Filling a niche in scholarship to this point, A great Derangement of Epistemes will attract historians, philosophers, philosophers of technology, and the wider clinical community.

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Extra info for A Nice Derangement of Epistemes: Post-positivism in the Study of Science from Quine to Latour

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257 That is, "if we accept the indeterminacy thesis, we cannot make objective sense of the Underdetermination thesis. A proponent of indeterminacy can at most give objective sense to the possibility of two theories which exhibit syntactic differences. " 259 One of the most difficult things to grasp in Quine's philosophy is the reiation between ontology and epistemology, between truth and evidence. What makes disentangling these notions particularly difficult is that Quine assin1ilates theory to language, science to semantics.

256 Or rather, three decisive extrapolators of Quine have made this point: Mary Hesse, Donald Davidson, and Richard Rorty. Critics are pressing to dissolve Quine's last distinction between physics and language, which would swallow everything up in indeterminacy of translation, in semantic holism. Gibson now argues that Quine's maneuvers have robbed him of the distinction he once possessed: "Quine is left without a way to differentiate under-determination and indeterminacy. "257 That is, "if we accept the indeterminacy thesis, we cannot make objective sense of the Underdetermination thesis.

209 Indeterminacy of translation is also n10re than underdetermination of theory by data, in Quine's view. In his harsh "Reply to Chomsky," Quine wrote: "indeterminacy of translation is not just inherited as a special case of the underdetermination of our theory of nature. "21o Quine elaborated in the key essay "On the Reasons for Indeterminacy of Translation" (1970): As always in radical translation, the starting point is the equating of observation sentences of the two languages by an inductive equating of stimulus meanings.

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