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The Scenes of InquiryOn the Reality of Questions in the Sciences$
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Nicholas Jardine

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198250395

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198250395.001.0001

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The Sociological Challenge

The Sociological Challenge

Chapter:
(p.168) 9 The Sociological Challenge
Source:
The Scenes of Inquiry
Author(s):

Nicholas Jardine

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198250395.003.0009

This chapter considers other strategies for the legitimation of methods and beliefs whose prevalence and effectiveness cast doubt on the primacy of calibration against precedents and standards as arbitrator of methods and practices in the sciences. It looks at recent findings in the sociology and social history of the sciences that suggest that effective methods in securing consensuses in the sciences are generally neither calibrated nor such that they would survive genuine attempts at calibration. The chapter first considers a direct attack on the prevalence of genuine calibration. Then it looks into two sociological approaches to the study of closure of debate in the sciences: interest theory and network theory. Both theories entail major roles in the formation of consensus in the sciences for strategies of appeal to literary and aesthetic sensibilities.

Keywords:   appeal to literary, aesthetic sensibilities, interest theory, network theory, legitimation, calibration

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