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The so-called exact sciences have always claimed to be different from other forms of knowledge. How are we to evaluate this assertion? Should we try to identify the criteria that seem to justify it? Or, following the new model of the social study of the sciences, should we view it as a simple belief? The Invention of Modern Science proposes a fruitful way of going beyond these apparently irreconcilable positions, that science is either “objective” or “socially constructed.” Instead, suggests Isabelle Stengers, one of the most important and influential philosophers of science in Europe, we might understand the tension between scientific objectivity and belief as a necessary part of science, central to the practices invented and reinvented by scientists.
First published in French as L’Invention des sciences modernes, La Découverte, Paris, 1993.
Translated by Daniel W. Smith
Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2000
Theory Out of Bounds series, 19
ISBN 0816630569, 9780816630561