lecture_9 - 21A.100 Prof Howe Anthropology of Science Food...

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Prof. Howe Anthropology of Science Food for thought: o Is there a culture of science? o Who is in that culture? o Is there more than one? o What are the boundaries of science? 1. Anthropology of science: a. Uses ethnographic method to study science b. Recognizes that we all participate in science in some way. c. Looks at science from the perspective of an outsider. 2. Anthropology of science emerged from several different disciplines: a. Anthropology of Other Knowledge Systems i. Evans-Pritchards studies the Azande 1. Looked at witchcraft and notions of rationality 2. Witchcraft explained misfortune: a. i.e. when a building falls, they blame it on witchcraft, even though they know that the supports for the structure were week and the people sitting under the shelter were there for a reason. Witchcraft is used to explain what we call coincidence or bad luck. 3. In this case, rationality doesn’t have an advantage. 4. Relativism of rationality b. Sociology of Science i. Merton’s universal norms of science (1912): 1. Disinterestedness –Scientists should not prefer one result to another 2. Organized Skepticism – nothing is taken on faith. Every fact is challenge. 3. Communism – share work with the community. The work of science comes from cooperation 4. Universalism – Scientific truth applies everywhere and to everything, regardless or race, class, nation, or other circumstance. c. History of Science i. Refuted some of Merton’s norms ii. Not that these aren’t good idealized notions of science, but that they are rarely realized. iii. Kuhn (1962) - how are truth claims evaluated?
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lecture_9 - 21A.100 Prof Howe Anthropology of Science Food...

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