Nelson A. (1994) How could scientific facts be socially constructed? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25(4): 535–547. https://cepa.info/3930
How could scientific facts be socially constructed?
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25(4): 535–547.
Fulltext at https://cepa.info/3930
A number of innovative case studies of episodes in the history of science have appeared in recent years that are plausibly called constructivist. Although the authors are primarily sociologists and historians, many of these studies dissolve interdisciplinary boundaries and address central philosophical problems about science. Some have received nearly universal praise as history and sociology, but the philosophical component has generated a good deal of controversy. This essay explores a new kind of argument that often appears in these works for overtly philosophical doctrines, and concludes by trying to evaluate the bearing of this new form of argument on the principal points of contention between constructivists and their philosophical opponents.