Critical Contextual Empiricism and the Politics of Knowledge

Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 1 (1) (2023)
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What are philosophers doing when they prescribe a particular epistemology for science? According to science and technology studies, the answer to this question implicates both knowledge and politics, even when the latter is hidden. Exploring this dynamic via a specific case, I argue that Longino’s “critical contextual empiricism” ultimately relies on a form of political liberalism. Her choice to nevertheless foreground epistemological concerns can be clarified by considering historical relationships between science and society, as well as the culture of academic philosophy. This example, I conclude, challenges philosophers of science to consider the political ideals and accountability entailed by their prescribed knowledge practices.

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Matthew Sample
Northeastern University


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