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Knowledge in a Social World$
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Alvin I. Goldman

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198238201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198238207.001.0001

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(p.221) Eight Science
Knowledge in a Social World

Alvin I. Goldman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Some sociologists of science debunk science by describing it as historically contingent convention or the politics of persuasion. Another challenge to science's pretensions to truth is a reminder of the motivation that often drives scientific research, viz., desire for credit from one's peers. This challenge is addressed by showing that, under natural assumptions of credit assignment, credit‐driven motivation will still lead researchers to perform experiments that can lead to expected increases in knowledge. Science also depends on deference to authorities, and the chapter concludes with an analysis of the ability of novices to recognize genuine authorities.

Keywords:   authority, deference, persuasion, science

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