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Knowledge and Social Imagery

2d edition
The first edition of this book profoundly challenged and divided students of philosophy, sociology, and the history of science when it was published in 1976. In this second edition, Bloor responds in a substantial new Afterword to the heated debates engendered by his book.

211 pages | 18 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 1976, 1991

History of Science

Philosophy of Science

Rhetoric and Communication

Sociology: Theory and Sociology of Knowledge

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition (1991)
1. The Strong Programme in the Sociology of Knowledge
The Strong Programme
The Autonomy of Knowledge
The Argument from Empiricism
The Argument from Self-Refutation
The Argument from Future Knowledge
2. Sense Experience, Materialism and Truth
The Reliability of Sense Experience
Experience and Belief
Materialism and Sociological Explanation
Truth, Correspondence and Convention
3. Sources of Resistance to the Strong Programme
A Durkheimean Approach to Science
Society and Knowledge
4. Knowledge and Social Imagery: A Case Study
The Popper-Kuhn Debate
Enlightenment Versus Romantic Ideologies
The Historical Location of the Ideologies
The Link between Epistemological and Ideological Debates
Another Variable, Knowledge under Threat
The Lesson to Be Learned
5. A Naturalistic Approach to Mathematics
The Standard Experience of Mathematics
J S Mill’s Theory of Mathematics
Frege’s Criticisms of Mill
Frege’s Definition of Objectivity Accepted, But What Satisfies This Definition?
Mill’s Theory Modified by Sociological Factors
Summary and Conclusion
6. Can There Be an Alternative Mathematics?
What Would an Alternative Mathematics Look Like?
Is ’One’ a Number?
Pythagorean and Platonic Number
The Metaphysics of Root Two
7. Negotiation in Logical and Mathematical Thought
Lord Mansfield’s Advice
Paradoxes of the Infinite
Azande Logic and Western Science
The Negotiation of a Proof in Mathematics
8. Conclusion: Where Do We Stand?
Afterword: Attacks on the Strong Programme
How Not to Attack the Strong Programme
Covariance, Causality and Cognitive Science
The Ultimate Refutation of Interest Explanations
The Charge of Idealism
Symmetry Lost and Symmetry Regained
Mathematics and the Realm of Necessity
Conclusion: Science and Heresy

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