A Reflexive Calling: Sociology and the Problem of Scientific Knowledge

By Marcelo Fetz and Leila C. Ferreira.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 6, 2015 Free Download

As a result of the classical sociological analysis of the scientific method as a way of consolidating the epistemic roots of social sciences reasoning, sociology has created a unique capacity of comprehending science through the scientific method. In this paper, we discuss the rise of a reflexive “vocation” of sociology, i.e., a special epistemic condition towards the understanding of contemporary science held by sociologists. Sociology has initially pointed out the knowledge problem as an internal issue, a challenge regarding the development of a scientific way of thinking about society. Contemporary sociology has pointed out the knowledge problem as a general challenge for science as a whole, replacing the logical demarcation by a new one based on social demarcation of knowledge. Social Studies of Science and Edinburgh’s Strong Programme have finally created a symmetrical sociology of the scientific knowledge, activating the classical reflexive condition of sociology towards scientific knowledge.

Keywords: Axiological Neutrality, Social Demarcation, Expertise, Strong Program

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Volume 10, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.13-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 6, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 499.913KB)).

Dr. Marcelo Fetz

FAPESP Research Fellow, Sociology Department, State University of Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil

Dr. Leila C. Ferreira

Full Professor, Sociology Department, State University of Campinas, Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil