21 Oct 2010 11:00am - 2:00pm CRASSH seminar room


A mini-workshop convened by Dr Hauke Riesch (Judge Business School) and Dr Erika Mansnerus (CRASSH and LSE) for the CRASSH Postdoctoral Research Seminar Series.

Presenter: Dr Hauke Riesch

Discussants: Dr Hasok Chang (HPS) and Dr Erika Mansnerus.

A light buffet lunch will be provided. Please contact Dr Anne Alexander to reserve a place. Reading materials will be available before the seminar.  


In the light of recent efforts by Chang and others to work out an integrated history and philosophy of science which aims learn from the lessons of previous failures immediately post-Kuhn, this workshop will try to explore the relationship between philosophy and sociology of science and whether similar efforts to integrate these disciplines could be equally fruitful. Sociology and philosophy of science have for the last few decades lived through a rather uneasy relationship, starting with the then new wave of sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK)  positioning itself explicitly in opposition to philosophy of science.

Ironically perhaps we can use the tools of contemporary science studies to analyse the events as a boundary dispute where two disciplines fought over the same intellectual space – the conflict between philosophy of science and SSK was as much a fight over resources and the disciplinary authority to theorise about science as it was over actual intellectual  disagreements.

I will argue that integrating efforts need to heed disciplinary identities as well as start a conversation of what each of these disciplines are trying to do and can offer each other. As long as these boundaries are still hazy, there exists the danger that the disciplines work against each other in trying to achieve similar aims, instead of making use of each others' findings. This will open up some possibly uncomfortable but essential questions for both sociology and philosophy of science: What exactly is philosophy of science trying to achieve? What is sociology trying to acieve?

Upcoming Events


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk