1. Science, Technology and Society VII: On Gender and Science

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    Evelyn Fox Keller is a leader among a generation of feminist scholars interested in questions of gender and science. Although feminist philosophy of science is a complex and controversial field, and these scholars frequently disagree among themselves as to what changes are desirable or realistically attainable, they share a commitment to broadening the scope of science so that it does not devalue feminine perspectives as a kind of structural principle.

  2. Science, Technology and Society VI: David Bloor and the Strong Programme in the Sociology of Knowledge

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    Whereas Kuhn had suggested that science might not be an entirely rational activity, and Feyerabend had drawn certain philosophical and political conclusions from a rather more strident belief, David Bloor argued for an approach that ignores the truth status of scientific theories and instead concentrates on their social context of production. Needless to say, the idea that truth claims arising out of science can be ignored at all, let alone as a systematic methodological principle, was and is controversial.

  3. Why Substance Matters

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    What matters about matter is that it’s a certain kind of substance, which is to say that matter is refutable and problematic because it is taken as something underlying or standing below (sub-stance) the outward appearances, such as the hardness and heaviness of Johnson’s rock. In other words, “substance” is a metaphysical reality, not an empirical or phenomenal reality. Pragmatists like William James and Robert Pirsig both reject what the latter called “the metaphysics of substance.”

  4. Science, Technology & Society I: Francis Bacon

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    What is science? In general, answers to this question fall between two poles. The first is the traditional view of science–that it is a process of discovery which, performed correctly, faithfully reveals the mysteries of the universe. The second holds that science is a social process which invents, rather than discovers, models of the universe.

  5. Thoreauly Ponderous

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    The smoke and noise of 19th century steam engines seem quaint now that we measure annual carbon emissions in billions of tons.

  6. Emersonian America

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    Emerson, philosophical mysticism, and Jamesian pragmatism all make the same basic assertion about the relation between concepts and the immediacy of lived experience.

  7. Emerson on the Over-Soul

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    A walk through Emerson’s essay “The Over-Soul.” We learn a lot about how the Divine is supposed to affect us if we’re in the proper mood, but get no information about what it actually is.