This philosophical introduction to and discussion of social and political studies of science argues that scientific knowledge is socially constructed.
By looking at science as a social and political activity, researchers have created novel accounts of scientific practice and rationality, accounts that largely contradict the dominant ideologies of science. Science without Myth is a philosophical introduction to and discussion of these social and political studies of science—a discussion of the social construction of scientific knowledge as a product of communities and societies marked by the circumstances of its production.
The book argues that there are a number of important and interesting ways in which scientific knowledge can be a social construction but that it often is knowledge of the material world; therefore, this book is an essay on mediation or the mediatory roles of scientists between nature and knowledge. By identifying and separating different senses of the "construction" metaphor, this book displays senses in which scientists construct knowledge, phenomena, and even worlds. It shows science as made up of thoroughly social processes and that those processes create representations of a pre-existing material world. Science without Myth's argument provides a counter-balance to skeptical tendencies of constructivist studies of science and technology by showing that skepticism cannot cut so deeply as to deny the possibility of knowledge and representation.
Sergio Sismondo is William Webster Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Queen's University, Canada.
"Sismondo deals with a very central and current problem in the philosophy and sociology of science, the problem of truth and representation, especially for theoretical entities and constructs. In this clear and concise exposition, the author succeeds in making a very difficult and often technical controversy very accessible. " — Stephan Fuchs, University of Virginia