The "science wars" have been raging for decades, raising many questions about the power of science. Some critics claim that science, including social science, is "merely a social construction" that fallible humans have created with words and other symbols. If this is true, is science as formidable a source of knowledge as most scientists claim? Baldwin explains why the edifice of science has robust properties that make it one of the most useful forms of knowledge that humans have ever created, although it is not perfect. He trenchantly examines all sides of the debate and uses the philosophy of pragmatism to reveal the special characteristics that make science work as well as it does. Ending the Science Wars shows how science is far better grounded than its critics claim. The book not only helps resolve many current debates about science, it is a major contribution for explaining science in terms of a powerful philosophical system. This makes the book valuable to scientists in all fields of research-and intellectually challenging for science's critics.
Table of Contents
Contents; Preface; Part I: Early Views of Science; Chapter 1. Storybook Science; Chapter 2. Extreme Skepticism; Chapter 3. Absolute Truth; Chapter 4. Tentative Truths; Part II: The Pragmatic Model of Science; Chapter 5. The Individual Research Scientist; Chapter 6. Social Processes; Part III: The Modern Debates; Chapter 7. The Scientific Community; Chapter 8. Science and the Larger Society; Chapter 9. The Next Steps.
“For too long, scholars have debated whether social science can be a true science. Baldwin’s book draws upon pragmatist philosophy to propose a new way to reframe the debate. It is one of the most balanced proposals that I have read for how social science can get on with the business of understanding human behavior, interaction, and organization. It is, I believe, a must read for those who want the warfare to end and who want social science to accumulate useful knowledge.”
—Jonathan Turner, University of California–Riverside