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The One Culture?A Conversation about Science$
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Jay A. Labinger and Harry Collins

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780226467221

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226467245.001.0001

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Split Personalities, or The Science Wars Within

Split Personalities, or The Science Wars Within

Chapter:
(p.206) Chapter 18 Split Personalities, or The Science Wars Within
Source:
The One Culture?
Author(s):

Jay A. Labinger

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226467245.003.0018

The aspect this chapter is specifically concerned with is: to what degree is one justified in extrapolating from commonsense or “easy” cases to claims made with respect to science in general? For example, Bricmont and Sokal use the “obvious” question of whether or not it is raining as a starting point to address the role of reality in determining belief. They do recognize that there is an issue here: one can question whether “ordinary” and “scientific” knowledge should be treated the same way. Yes, they conclude: if reality constrains ordinary knowledge, it constrains scientific knowledge even more so because experimental science is carried out expressly to make that the case. Thus science would seem to be just an elaborate form of common sense.

Keywords:   science wars, Bricmont, Sokal, scientific knowledge, experimental science, common sense

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