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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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Science

Science

Chapter:
(p.221) Eight Science
Source:
Knowledge in a Social World
Author(s):

Alvin I. Goldman (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198238207.003.0008

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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