By James Franklin

ISBN-10: 1594032076

ISBN-13: 9781594032073

To scientists, the tsunami of relativism, scepticism, and postmodernism that washed during the humanities within the 20th century was once all water off a duck’s again. technology remained dedicated to objectivity and persevered to carry awesome discoveries and enhancements in know-how.

In What technological know-how understands, the Australian thinker and mathematician James Franklin explains in fascinating and simple prose how technology works its magic. He starts with an account of the character of facts, the place technology imitates yet extends common-sense and felony reasoning in basing conclusions solidly on inductive reasoning from facts.

After a short survey of the furnishings of the realm as technological know-how sees it—including explanations, legislation, tendencies and strength fields in addition to fabric things—Franklin describes colourful examples of discoveries within the average, mathematical, and social sciences and the explanations for believing them. He examines the bounds of technological know-how, giving distinct consciousness either to mysteries that could be solved through technological know-how, comparable to the beginning of existence, and people who might in precept be past the achieve of technology, corresponding to the that means of ethics.

What technological know-how is familiar with will attract somebody who wishes a valid, readable, and well-paced creation to the highbrow edifice that's technological know-how. nevertheless it is going to now not please the enemies of technological know-how, whose willful misunderstandings of medical process and the relation of facts to conclusions Franklin mercilessly exposes.

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The journal fell for it and printed it (no. 46/7, Spring/Summer, 1996), whereupon Sokal owned up and a good laugh was had by all. Except, of course, the editor of Social Text and all of like mind. Debate raged. 3 The mode of thought that Sokal was parodying, is, as even a few extracts from his article show, a wide-ranging one. It churns together pieces of political jargon, psychoanalysis, physics, 45 What Science Knows mathematics, and any intellectual objets trouvés to hand. But its central doctrine is much the same as that of the “strong programme”: It is the social construction of science, and of knowledge generally; the objects of knowledge do not have objective reality “out there,” but are merely social constructs.

People, they think, can be acted on by their interests, or patronage, or the social milieu, but abstract facts like 2 + 2 = 4 do not act. So explanations of how people, including scientists, think ought to be sociological. This argument appears in various forms, mostly not very explicit ones. 10 He reserves particular anger for the opinion that belief in reasonable theories is at least in part explained by their being reasonable, while mistakes require causal explanations. ” Barnes and Bloor write: Our equivalence postulate is that all beliefs are on a par with one another with respect to the causes of their credibility.

Taking the first of the post-Attic strategies, these four mounted a direct attack on the relation between evidence and conclusion. The second wave, which began in the English-speaking world in the disturbed times of the 1970s and whose end is frequently predicted but not yet in sight, combined a “postmodernist” strand coming from the linguistics-based humanities with a “sociology of science” strand that aimed to substitute sociology for the logic and philosophy of science. The robustly positive tone of the title of Sir Karl Popper’s massive The Logic of Scientific Discovery, the book that dominated philosophy of science around the 1960s, belies the fact that its thesis is that there is no logic of scientific discovery—or of scientific theory evaluation either.

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What Science Knows: And How It Knows It by James Franklin

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