Titel: Social Objectivity and the Problem of Local Epistemologies
Autor: Anke Büter
Abstract: The value-freedom of scientific knowledge is commonly hold to be a necessary condition for objectivity. Helen Longino's contextual empiricism aims to overcome this connection. She questions the suitability of the normative ideal of value-freedom and develops an alternative conception of objectivity, which integrates social and epistemic aspects of scientific enquiry. The function of this notion of 'social objectivity' is to make value-laden assumptions assessable through a process of criticism, even if there cannot be any guarantee of their elimination. This assessability requires common standards of evaluation, which are threatened by Longino's rejection of the distinction between cognitive and non-cognitive values guiding theory choice. I will argue that in order to resolve this inherent tension, social objectivity has to be understood as based on a procedural epistemology and, differing from Longino's own approach, must include the normative requirement to strive for consensus instead of allowing for epistemological pluralism.
Social Dimensions of Science
2010 (32) Heft 2
The research program of Social Epistemology developed from a critique on philosophical epistemology around thirty years ago. Since then it has attracted an ever growing attention, mainly, however, among philosophers. But social epistemology offers also prolific alignments for the social sciences. The starting point of Social Epistemology is the elementary fact that a large proportion of our knowledge is acquired not by our own autonomous exploration according to some ideal standards but by relyi...