Scenes of Inquiry On the Reality of Questions in the Sciences

Scenes of Inquiry On the Reality of Questions in the Sciences

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  • ISBN-13: 9780198239352
  • ISBN: 0198239351
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated


Jardine, Nicholas


The Scenes of Inquiry advocates a radical shift of concern - from answers and doctrines to questions and problems - in philosophical, historical, and sociological studies of the sciences, and explores the consequences of such a shift. The historically-orientated first part of the work deals with the ways in which ranges of questions become real and cease to be real for communities of inquirers. It offers a series of hypotheses, illustrated by case studies, concerning the methodological, historical, and social factors responsible for such shifts of 'scenes of inquiry' in the sciences. The more philosophically-orientated second part of the work addresses doubts about the claims of the sciences to have accumulated absolutely real questions. It is argued that recent studies in the sociology and social history of the sciences pose strong challenges to the sciences by revealing how appeals to authority, vested interests, and rhetorical and aesthetic sensibilities play substantial roles in the practices of the sciences. The final chapter defends the pragmatic stance of the work, and of its companion, The Fortunes of Inquiry (OUP, 1986), and draws morals about the roles of criticism and reflection in the philosophy of science and in the sciences themselves.Jardine, Nicholas is the author of 'Scenes of Inquiry On the Reality of Questions in the Sciences' with ISBN 9780198239352 and ISBN 0198239351.

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