Finalization in Science: The Social Orientation of Scientific Progress by Pete Burgess

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Author
Pete Burgess
Publisher
Springer
Date of release
Pages
318
ISBN
9789400970823
Binding
Paperback
Illustrations
Format
PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC
Rating
5
41

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Finalization in Science: The Social Orientation of Scientific Progress

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Book review

These essays on Finalization in Science - The Social Orientation of Scientific Progress comprise a remarkable, problematic and controversial book. The authors propose a thesis about the social direction of scientific research which was the occasion of a lively and often bitter debate in Germany from 1976 to 1982. Their provocative thesis, briefly, is this: that modern science converges, historically, to the development of a number of 'closed theories', i. e. stable and relatively completed sciences, no longer to be improved by small changes but only by major changes in an entire theoretical structure. Further: that at such a stage of 'mature theory', the formerly viable norm of intra-scientific autonomy may appropriately be replaced by the social direction' of further scientific research (within such a 'mature' field) for socially relevant or, we may bluntly say, 'task-oriented' purposes. This is nothing less than a theory for the planning and social directing of science, under certain specific conditions. Understandably, it raised the sharp objections that such an approach would subordinate scientific inquiry as a free and untrammeled search for truth to the dictates of social relevance and dominant interests, even possibly to dictation and control for particularistic social and political interests.


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