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A House Built on SandExposing Postmodernist Myths About Science$
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Noretta Koertge

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195117257

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195117255.001.0001

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The End of Science, the Central Dogma of Science Studies, Monsieur Jourdain, and Uncle Vanya The End of Science, the Central Dogma of Science Studies, Monsieur Jourdain, and Uncle Vanya Norman Levitt

The End of Science, the Central Dogma of Science Studies, Monsieur Jourdain, and Uncle Vanya The End of Science, the Central Dogma of Science Studies, Monsieur Jourdain, and Uncle Vanya Norman Levitt

Chapter:
(p.272) 17 The End of Science, the Central Dogma of Science Studies, Monsieur Jourdain, and Uncle Vanya Norman Levitt
Source:
A House Built on Sand
Author(s):

Norman Levitt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195117255.003.0018

John Horgan’s well-known book, The End of Science, maintains that much of science has reached a stage where it can only generate “ironic” ideas, so called because there is little hope that they can be scientifically accurate in a straightforward sense. Horgan, in claiming that in several key areas, science is now confronted by impenetrable barriers to achieving new and valid knowledge, is heavily influenced by postmodern and constructivist theories of knowledge. Though in some ways he departs from the epistemological nihilism of the postmodernists, he nonetheless echoes them in suggesting that the search for new, deep knowledge can at best produce mere narratives instead. Horgan’s position is refutable, but it is interesting in that it illuminates the cultural pessimism and the resentment that underlie the radical critiques of science that have proliferated in the academic world as well as in popular writing.

Keywords:   postmodernism, constructivism, science studies, science journalism, John Horgan

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