Videnskabshistorisk Selskab

Indbydelse til foredrag ved:

Vidar Enebakk,
Institutt for arkeologi, konservering og historiske studier, Universitetet i Oslo:

The Strong Programme and the Emergence of the Edinburgh-School

Since the mid-1970s the so-called Edinburgh-school has been central in the development of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK). The most famous contribution by far was the formulation of the "Strong Programme" by David Bloor in Knowledge and Social Imagery (1976). At the heart of the programme was the much debated principle of symmetry, which by several critics has been associated with relativism and irrationalism promoting anti-scientific attitudes and "social constructivism gone mad".

Unfortunately, I will argue, much of this subsequent critique, especially during the Science Wars in the 1990s, has been directed towards straw-men - not really taking into account what Bloor has really written or argued. In my talk I will challenge this interpretation by focusing on Bloor's background, the pre-history of the Strong Programme, and on the emergence of the Edinburgh-school more generally. The approach, thus, is historical, focusing on the decade from the establishing of the Science Studies Unit in Edinburgh in 1966 towards the publication of Knowledge and Social Imagery in 1976. First, I will try to elaborate the many and heterogeneous sources of inspiration for Bloor's formulation of the Strong Programme. Second, I will focus more closely on the relation between Bloor and Imre Lakatos in relation the history of mathematics. And finally, I'll be focusing on how Bloor is related to the broader Popper-Kuhn-debate. Hopefully such a historical reconstruction can contribute to a better understanding of what the Edinburgh-school and the Strong Programme was all about.

tirsdag, den 28. november 2006, kl. 19.45
i auditorium 10, på H. C. Ørsted Instituttet,
Universitetsparken 5, København

Info om selskabet
In English