A House Built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths About by Noretta Koertge

By Noretta Koertge

Cultural critics say that "science is politics through different means," arguing that the result of medical inquiry are profoundly formed by way of the ideological agendas of strong elites. They base their claims on ancient case reports purporting to teach the systematic intrusion of sexist, racist, capitalist, colonialist, and/or specialist pursuits into the very content material of technological know-how. during this hard-hitting number of essays, individuals provide crisp and specified evaluations of case experiences provided by way of the cultural critics as proof that clinical effects let us know extra approximately social context than they do in regards to the flora and fauna. Pulling no punches, they establish a number of crude real mistakes (e.g. that Newton by no means played any experiments) and egregious error of omission, akin to the try to clarify the sluggish improvement of fluid dynamics exclusively by way of gender bias. the place there are gains of a improper account, or whatever to be realized from it, they don't hesitate to claim so. Their aim is shoddy scholarship.
Comprising new essays via distinctive students of historical past, philosophy, and technological know-how, this e-book increases a full of life debate to a brand new point of seriousness.

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Reactions to their criticisms, especially to Higher Superstition, have been intense: many workers in Science Studies (including those whose works have been attacked and those whose works have not) find the book ignorant and opinionated (to put their responses in relatively mild language). When pressed to elaborate, they typically complain that Gross and Levitt and other critics do not draw distinctions, that they treat peripheral people and central workers in the field as if they were minor variants of one another, tarring the latter with the sins of the former.

But at this point, the champions of social constructivism will surely object that science is being “privileged,” that the defense is circular, that questions are being begged, and so forth. They are quite right to recognize that the approach I have outlined could not possibly succeed in answering a certain kind of skeptical question. If the invitation is to throw away all our beliefs, start from scratch, and justify the claim that the objects about which we form perceptual beliefs are as we represent them, then we could not offer our contemporary blend of physics, physiology, and psychology to advance the kind of picture of perception I have sketched.

Among the examples of contributions in all these areas, I would cite (1) historical accounts of the development of Darwinism, eugenics, molecular biology, and the character of experimental research in high-energy physics; 4 (2) philosophical work on the sociobiology debate, the IQ controversy, the units of selection controversy, the implications of Bell's theorem, and causal methodology in the social sciences; 5 (3) socio-historical research on the ways in which excluding certain kinds of people from scientific research has affected the character of the science that is done; 6 and (4) studies of the social implications of contemporary molecular genetics.

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