A House Built on Sand: Exposing Postmodernist Myths About Science

Noretta Koertge
Oxford University Press, 27 aug. 1998 - 336 pagina's
Cultural critics say that "science is politics by other means," arguing that the results of scientific inquiry are profoundly shaped by the ideological agendas of powerful elites. They base their claims on historical case studies purporting to show the systematic intrusion of sexist, racist, capitalist, colonialist and/or professional interests into the very content of science. Physicist Alan Sokal recently poked fun at these claims by foisting a sly parody of the genre on the unwitting editors of the cultural studies journal Social Text touching off a still unabated torrent of editorials, articles, and heated classroom and Internet discussion. This hard-hitting collection picks up where Sokal left off. The essayists offer crisp and detailed critiques of case studies offered by the cultural critics as evidence that scientific results tell us more about social context than they do about the natural world. Pulling no punches, they identify numerous crude factual blunders (e.g. that Newton never performed any experiments) and egregious errors of emission, such as the attempt to explain the slow development of fluid dynamics solely in terms of gender bias. Where there are positive aspects of a flawed account, or something to be learned from it, they do not hesitate to say so. Their target is shoddy scholarship. Comprising new essays by distinguished scholars of history, philosophy, and science (including Sokal himself), this book raises a lively debate to a new level of seriousness.

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Geselecteerde pagina's


Myths Metaphors and Misreadings
Interests Ideology and the Construction of Experiments
Art Nature and the Rise of Experimental Method
Civilian Casualties of Postmodern Perspectives on Science

Overige edities - Alles weergeven

Veelvoorkomende woorden en zinsdelen

Populaire passages

Pagina 204 - For like as a man's disposition is never well known till he be crossed, nor Proteus ever changed shapes till he was straitened and held fast ; so the passages and variations of nature cannot appear so fully in the liberty of nature, as in the trials and vexations of art.
Pagina 125 - Natural selection acts exclusively by the preservation and accumulation of variations, which are beneficial under the organic and inorganic conditions to which each creature is exposed at all periods of life. The ultimate result is that each creature tends to become more and more improved in relation to its conditions. This improvement inevitably leads to the gradual advancement of the organization of the greater number of living beings throughout the world.
Pagina 199 - For you have but to follow and as it were hound nature in her wanderings, and you will be able when you like to lead and drive her afterward to the same place again.
Pagina 213 - And for things that are mean or even filthy— things which (as Pliny says) must be introduced with an apology— such things, no less than the most splendid and costly, must be admitted into natural history. Nor is natural history polluted thereby, for the sun enters the sewer no less than the palace, yet takes no pollution.
Pagina 254 - For it is not the Roman clergy only, that pretends the Kingdom of God to be of this world, and thereby to have a power therein, distinct from that of the civil state.
Pagina 44 - No, you unnatural hags, I will have such revenges on you both, That all the world shall — I will do such things — What they are yet I know not ; but they shall be The terrors of the earth.
Pagina 120 - Man is more courageous, pugnacious and energetic than woman, and has a more inventive genius. His brain is absolutely larger, but whether or not proportionately to his larger body, has not, I believe, been fully ascertained.
Pagina 188 - I am anxious to draw attention to the fact that this theory is not speculative in origin; it owes its invention entirely to the desire to make physical theory fit observed fact as well as possible.
Pagina 12 - To slow down is to set a limit in chaos to which all speeds are subject, so that they form a variable determined as abscissa, at the same time as the limit forms a universal constant that cannot be gone beyond (for example, a maximum degree of contraction). The first functives are therefore the limit and the variable, and reference is a relationship between values of the variable or, more profoundly, the relationship of the variable, as abscissa of speeds, with the limit.

Over de auteur (1998)

Noretta Koertge is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University. A former chemist, she studied philosophy of science at the University of London and is the author of numerous articles on the methodology of both the natural and social sciences. She co-wrote (with Daphne Patai) Professing Feminism: Cautionary Tales from the Strange World of Women's Studies.

Bibliografische gegevens