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The Narrative of Scientific Epistemology

The Narrative of Scientific Epistemology

Chapter:
(p.17) 1 The Narrative of Scientific Epistemology
Source:
Dying to Know
Author(s):
George Levine
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226475387.003.0002

This chapter addresses the consequence of various manifestations of the mutual dependence of epistemological ideas and narrative. It specifically involves a rather arbitrary tour through the history of commentary on scientific knowledge, from Rene Descartes to Donna Haraway. The parallels between Francis Bacon's narrative and Descartes' remarkably affirmed the significance to Western science of narrative justification. It then evaluates several alternative approaches to the narratives of deadly neutrality. Like Rom Harré before her but with different reasons and with a different rhetoric, Haraway wants both to accept the critiques of science and to sustain the enterprise of science that makes a difference in the real world. Haraway, Helen Longino, Stephen Kellert, Steven Shapin, and Harré imagine an epistemology that is both objectivist and human.

Keywords:   epistemological ideas, scientific knowledge, Rene Descartes, Donna Haraway, Francis Bacon, Rom Harré, Helen Longino, Stephen Kellert, Steven Shapin, narrative

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