Everydayness in postmodern science

Barbara Tuchańska

Abstract


After a critique of several traditional philosophical ideas and ideals which refer to scientific cognition and knowledge, I introduce distinctions between early-modern, modern, and postmodern science, and adopt a more sociological approach to argue that the last category bears many features of postmodernity. Scientists live in the abundance of other scientists, goods (e.g., scientific equipment), and information (in particular, scientific knowledge). They have to combine cooperation with competition, keep pace with the flux of knowledge, and manage the relations between their research and other social practices (e.g., industry). Facing the lack of unquestioned, universal, and stable methodological rules, changeability of criteria of novelty or epistemic values of knowledge, as well as instability of social patterns, scientists have to self-constitute themselves as scientists, both individually and collectively. The level of self-constitution, allowed by freedom that is enabled by the autonomy achieved by modern science, is unparalleled either earlier in science or in any other sphere of postmodern societies.

Keywords


early-modern, modern, postmodern science, postmodernity, postmodern society, liquid times

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