By David Bloor
The 1st variation of this e-book profoundly challenged and divided scholars of philosophy, sociology, and the background of technology whilst it was once released in 1976. during this moment variation, Bloor responds in a considerable new Afterword to the heated debates engendered by means of his booklet.
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Extra resources for Knowledge and Social Imagery
We see exactly what Priestley saw but conceive it theoretically in a quite different way. We, no more than Priestley, have been permitted access to the hidden aspects of reality, so our view is just as much a theory. Doubtless we are fully justified in preferring our theory because its internal coherence can be maintained over a wider range of theoretically interpreted experiments and experiences. 40 Chapter Two It is now possible to see why the relation ()f correspondence between a theory and reality is vague.
The use to which it is opposed is quite different viz. making an evaluation of truth and falsity and then, contingent upon that evaluation, adopting different styles of explanation for true and false beliefs. For example, using causal explanations for error but not for truth. This is a very different matter. It assimilates the notion of truth to a teleological framework rather than leaving it within the causal idiom of our everyday thinking. The idea that scientific theories, methods and acceptable results are social conventions is opposed by a number of typical arguments which must now be examined.
Clearly there are different causes at work in the two cases otherwise there would not be different effects. The symmetry resides in the types of causes. The differences in laboratory findings is just part of the overall causal process which culminated in the different fate of the two schools. It is not in itself a sufficient explanation for these facts. It would not be adequate to say that the facts of chemistry explain why the one programme failed and other succeeded. Given exactly the same laboratory behaviour and the same experimental outcomes the fates of the two schools could have been the other way round.