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Finalization in Science : The Social Orientation of Scientific Progress - Wolf Schafer

Finalization in Science

The Social Orientation of Scientific Progress

By: Wolf Schafer, P. Burgess (Translator)

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Published: 30th September 1983
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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.

Authors' Introduction.- 1. The Social Determinants of Knowledge.- 2. The Phases of Development in Scientific Disciplines.- 2.1. Explorative phase.- 2.2. Paradigmatic phase.- 2.3. Post-paradigmatic phase.- 3. Science for Society as a Perspective.- Notes.- I. Case Studies.- Summary of Contributions.- Agricultural Chemistry. The Origin and Structure of a Finalized Science.- 1. Introduction.- 2. The Demographic Context of Agricultural Chemistry.- 3. The Pre-history of Agricultural Chemistry.- 4. The Paradigm of Agricultural Chemistry.- 4.1. Cycles of reproduction.- 4.2. The constructive variation of cycles.- 4.3. The progressive problemshift in agricultural chemistry.- 5. The Institutionalization of Agricultural Chemistry.- 6. Conclusion.- Notes.- Autonomization and Finalization: A Comparison of Fermentation Research and Fluid Mechanics.- 1. Introduction.- 2. Fermentation Research - Fluid Mechanics: A Comparison of Two Theoretical Developments.- 2.1. Initial status and comparability.- 2.2. Historical overview.- 2.2.1. Fermentation research.- 2.2.2. Fluid mechanics.- 2.3. Analysis.- 2.3.1. Fermentation research.- 2.3.2. Fluid mechanics.- 3. Conclusion.- Notes.- Cancer Research. A Study of Praxis-Related Theoretical Developments in Chemistry, the Biosciences and Medicine.- 1. Introduction.- 2. The Development of Chemical and Biological Theories: Definitions and Assumptions.- 3. Cancer Approaches Based on Mature Theories.- 3.1. Classification of tumours in pathological anatomy.- 3.2. Chemical theories of carcinogenesis.- 3.3. The somatic mutation theory of tumour induction.- 3.4. The biochemical approach to cancer.- 3.5. Synopsis.- 4. Current Cancer Research in Cell and Developmental Biology.- 4.1. The molecular biology of higher cells.- 4.2. Experimental linkages between basic research in cell and developmental biology and cancer research.- 4.2.1. Tumour virology.- 4.2.2. Cell biology using systems of tumour cells.- 4.2.3. The system of blood-forming cells.- 4.2.4. A coincidence of tumour research and research into early developmental phases: the teratoma.- 4.3. Transfer research.- 4.4. Synopsis.- 5. Pure Empirical Cancer Research: Human Biology and Medicine.- Notes.- II. Theoretical Considerations.- Summary of Contributions.- Finalization Revisited.- I. Problems in the Philosophy of Science.- 1. Theoretical Maturity and Closed Theories.- 1.1. The phenomenon of the continuing validity of theories.- 1.2. The concept of closed theories.- 1.3. Systematic objections.- 1.4. Closed theories and the dynamics of theory.- 2. Fundamental Theories, Special Theories and the Problem of Applying theories.- 2.1. Theory-application as a problem in the philosophy of science.- 2.2. What does it mean to say 'A theory is valid for an object, but cannot be applied to it'?.- 2.3. Principles of application.- 3. Theoretical Maturity as the Basis for Goal-orientation.- 3.1. "Theoretical maturity" in the case studies.- 3.2. Criteria for assessing the maturity of theories.- II. Science Policy Considerations.- 1. Finalization and Direction.- 1.1. Orientation of science in the explorative phase.- 1.2. Orientation of science in the paradigmatic phase.- 1.3. Orientation of science in the post-paradigmatic phase.- 2. Theoretical vs Empirical Strategies for the Solution of Problems.- 2.1. The technical potential of theory.- 2.2. Orientation toward goals and criticism of goals.- 3. The Social Integration of Science.- 3.1. Finalization and autonomy.- 3.2. Disciplinary communities and "task communities".- Notes.- The Scientification of Technology.- 1. Introduction.- 2. The Unification of Science and Technology in the Renaissance.- 2.1. The emergence of the science-technology relationship.- 2.2. Early technical and natural sciences.- 2.3. The knowledge of possible nature - the knowledge of the nature of the possible.- 2.4. The historical evolution of the interrelation of technology and science.- 3. The Separate Development of Natural Science and Technology.- 4. The Orientation of Science Toward Technology.- 4.1. Technological developments internal to science.- 4.2. The technology-orientation in the theory of mechanics and in the mechanistic world image.- 4.3. Scientific supply to production.- 5. The orientation of technology toward science.- 6. Theoretical technology.- Notes.- Normative Finalization.- 1. Introduction.- 2. The Theoretical Basis of Research in Finalization.- 2.1. Basic hypotheses reconsidered.- 2.2. Normative claims revised.- 2.3. The notion of a normative finalized science.- 3. Retraction of Basic Hypotheses and Suppression of Normative Claims.- 3.1. Theoretical retraction of basic hypotheses.- 3.2. Political suppression of normative claims.- 4. The Social Reconstruction of Science.- 4.1. A utopian perspective for science.- 4.2. Two strategies for research.- 4.3. Toward a revolution in the social paradigm of science.- Notes.- III. Prospects.- Summary of Contributions.- Science in a Crisis of Legitimation.- 1. Introduction.- 2. Theoretical and Practical Prerequisites for the Legitimation of Science.- 3. First Paradox of Utility: from Experimenting for Human Beings to Experimenting on Human Beings.- 4. Second Paradox of Utility: the Pursuit of Technology for Its Own Sake.- 5. Control of Research and Change in Values: Between Dogmatism and Scientism.- 6. Accountability for the Social Consequences of Science.- 7. Perspectives.- Notes.- Towards a Social Science of Nature.- 1. The Project of the Modern Age - Recalled for Reform.- 2. Critical Science Studies Moved Forward: from Science and Society to the Politics of Nature.- 3. Science, Politics, Nature: Traditional and Contemporary Relations.- 3.1. Science and politics.- 3.2. Science and nature.- 3.3. Politics and nature.- 4. Digression: Going Natural, Going Luddite, and Going Technocrat. Three Ways of Going Astray.- 5. The Triangle of Science, Politics, and Nature Established.- 6. Normative Concepts of Nature in Social Reality.- 7. Normative Concepts of Nature in the Social Sciences.- 8. Research Prospects.- Notes.- Introductory Note.- The Finalization Debate: A Reply to our Critics. With a Bibliography of the Finalization Discussion and Debate.- 1. Introduction.- 2. The First Proscription: It is Forbidden to Study the Progressive Goal Orientation of Science.- 2.1. The humus theory of basic research - an anti-finalist position.- 2.2. The dissolution of the coincidence of the social and cognitive autonomy of basic research - a finalist hypothesis.- 3. The Second Proscription: It is Forbidden to Advocate the Emancipatory Partisanship of Scientists.- 4. The Third Proscription: It is Forbidden to Believe in the Evolutionary Convergence of Theoretical and Practical Discourse.- 4.1. The disjunction of theory and practice - an antifinalist position.- 4.2. The convergence of theoretical and practical discourse - a finalist hypothesis.- 5. Conclusion.- Notes and References.- Bibliography of the Finalization Discussion and Debate.- I. The anti-finalization campaign and debate in the media.- III. Contributions to the academic finalization discussion and debate.- Notes on Authors.- Index of Names.

ISBN: 9789027715494
ISBN-10: 9027715491
Series: BOSTON STUDIES IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 318
Published: 30th September 1983
Publisher: Springer
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6  x 2.06
Weight (kg): 1.41