Helen Longino Science As Social Knowledge Pdf PATCHED Download
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How Helen Longino's Science as Social Knowledge Challenges the Myth of Value-Free Science
Science is often seen as a pure, objective and rational way of acquiring knowledge about the natural world. However, this view ignores the social and normative aspects of scientific inquiry, which can shape the choice of evidence, methods, assumptions and interpretations of data. In her book Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry, Helen Longino argues that science is not value-free, but rather a social process that is influenced by the values and interests of the scientific community and the wider society.
Longino's main thesis is that scientific objectivity can be maintained only by understanding science as a social activity that is subject to critical evaluation by multiple perspectives. She calls this approach \"contextual empiricism\", which contrasts with the traditional view of empiricism that relies on a single, universal and ahistorical method of testing hypotheses. Longino claims that contextual empiricism can account for the diversity and complexity of scientific theories, as well as the role of values in shaping scientific knowledge.
To illustrate her point, Longino analyzes several research programs that have been criticized by feminists for their sexist and androcentric biases. These include theories of human evolution, prenatal hormonal determination of gender-role behavior, sex differences in cognition, and sexual orientation. Longino shows how these theories are based on assumptions that reflect social values about gender relations, human agency, and natural order. She also shows how these assumptions affect the selection, description, presentation, and interpretation of evidence.
Longino argues that these research programs are not inherently bad or unscientific, but rather they need to be subjected to critical scrutiny by alternative perspectives that can challenge their underlying values and assumptions. She proposes that scientific objectivity requires four conditions: (1) there must be recognized avenues for criticism; (2) there must be shared standards for responding to criticism; (3) there must be equality of intellectual authority among participants; and (4) there must be diversity of viewpoints among participants. Longino believes that these conditions can foster a more democratic and pluralistic science that can accommodate different values and interests.
In conclusion, Longino's book is a provocative and insightful contribution to the philosophy of science and feminist studies. It challenges the myth of value-free science and offers a new way of understanding scientific objectivity as a social and contextual phenomenon. Longino's book is available for download in PDF format from Princeton University Press[^1^] or Google Books[^2^]. You can also read it online at Archive.org[^3^].
One of the main strengths of Longino's book is that it offers a nuanced and balanced view of the relationship between science and values. She does not deny the importance of empirical evidence and logical reasoning in scientific inquiry, but she also recognizes that these are not sufficient to guarantee objectivity. She does not reject the possibility of scientific progress and innovation, but she also acknowledges that these are not independent of social and historical contexts. She does not dismiss the value of scientific knowledge, but she also questions its authority and legitimacy in relation to other forms of knowledge.
Another strength of Longino's book is that it engages with a wide range of sources and perspectives from philosophy, sociology, history, and feminist studies of science. She draws on the work of influential thinkers such as Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan, JÃrgen Habermas, Michel Foucault, Evelyn Fox Keller, and Donna Haraway. She also reviews and critiques various approaches to the problem of values and objectivity in science, such as value-free idealism, value-laden relativism, value-neutral realism, and value-critical pragmatism. She situates her own approach within the broader tradition of empiricism, but also distinguishes it from its classical and logical variants.
A possible limitation of Longino's book is that it does not provide a detailed account of how contextual empiricism can be implemented in practice. She offers some examples of how scientific communities can meet her four conditions for objectivity, such as peer review, interdisciplinary collaboration, public participation, and feminist critique. However, she does not specify how these practices can be institutionalized, regulated, or evaluated in different scientific fields and contexts. She also does not address some of the practical challenges and constraints that may hinder the realization of her ideal vision of science as a social and democratic process. a474f39169