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Dying to KnowScientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England$
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George Levine

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226475363

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226475387.001.0001

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The Narrative of Scientific Epistemology

The Narrative of Scientific Epistemology

(p.17) 1 The Narrative of Scientific Epistemology
Dying to Know

George Levine

University of Chicago Press

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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