Working on a large canvas, Science Unfettered contributes to the ongoing debates in the philosophy of science. The ambitious aim of its authors is to reconceptualize the orientation of the subject, and to provide a new framework for understanding science as a human activity. Mobilizing the literature of the philosophy of science, the history of science, the sociology of science, and philosophy in general, Professors McGuire and Tuchanska build on these fields with the view of transforming their insights into a new epistemological and ontological basis for studying the enterprise of science.
In this approach, McGuire and Tuchanska have combined work from both Anglo-American and Continental traditions of philosophy. As a result, the works of Popper, Kuhn, Quine, and Lakatos, as well as Heidegger, Gadamer, Nietzsche, Foucault, and Feyerabend, are called into play. In addition, Science Unfettered deals extensively with history and historicity, offering a theory of historicity of science as it emerges in sociocultural contexts.
Unorthodox in its approach, Science Unfettered articulates an alternative that views science ontologically as a “practice,” a perspective from which traditional issues concerning the relationship of experiment to theory, the cognitive to the social, the relation between historical change and epistemic validity, the meaning of “objectivity” and the like can be addressed in a more fruitful way than is possible by starting with the traditional, ontological framework of subject and object.
James E. McGuire is a professor of history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh and holds a secondary appointment in the department of philosophy.
Barbara Tuchansk is professor of philosophy at the University of Lodz. In 1992, she published in Polish Conceptions of Analytic Knowledge and the Status of Logic and Mathematics.
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